One More Evaluation

By Ty Salvant

What were your summer plans? Did they include camp, visits to grandparents, vacations or just downtime?

Regardless of what you’re doing, how you spend your summer is vital. Parenting with intention can be more challenging in the summer, because we all need a break to unwind and decompress. It is also a time to assess, evaluate and plan for the next life phase.

When finalizing your plans, reflect on the experiences you desire to create, habits you want to eliminate or values to cultivate. To determine your strengths, ask your family:

  1. What is working well for you?
  2. What do you love about our family?
  3. What systems make our family work?
  4. What would others like to emulate from our family?

To assess what works, explore what is not working by asking: What feels most chaotic? What do you like least about our family? If you made the rules, what would you change? When are we most likely to lose our temper with each other?

While these answers are more challenging to hear, they are most beneficial. The answers are your weaknesses.

Once you know what does not work, you can find solutions by asking: What systems would alleviate stress? Do we need help – a housekeeper, cook, sitter, lawn maintenance person, accountant, organizer or repair person? Do we need to alter bedtimes, mealtimes, activities or repurpose a room?

Can you see the bigger picture? Use these answers to create opportunities for improvement.

Evaluate the threats to our families – social media, cell phones, drug overdoses and mental health – and ask: Are we using technology responsibly? Are we putting others and ourselves at risk unknowingly? Do we share similar expectations about drinking and drug use? Are we getting enough sleep to eliminate the threat of drowsy driving?

Sign up for Canva (https://bit.ly/3PQX9XX; it’s free) to answer the questions individually and come together as a family to share and discuss the responses. Use the information to create a plan for each family member individually and collectively.

Make sure you spend time during the summer creating habits to improve your quality of life instead of creating bad habits you will have to break in August.

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