The first week of summer I heard/read three things that captured my attention...
- Research says the best thing we can do for our children this summer is let them be bored.
- Boredom allows our children to engage themselves in activities that they are intrinsically drawn to.
- "The opposite of boredom is not entertainment, it is engagement." - Andy Stanley
I love spending quality time with my family. From exploring new places, playing games to having movie nights on the couch, it is a blessing to be together.
When I heard these quotes above from three different sources in one week it got me thinking...
Is my desire for quality time with my kids inhibiting them from growing into their best self?
Am I getting swept away in the current of culture thinking going and doing is more than simply being?
With summer here I have been witnessing my desire to fill in space during our day. Whether it's going to the library, pool, or running out to the store, I haven't been leaving a lot of gaps. Mind you we just got back from a lovely vacation together and I am still getting my footing on summer at home.
Inspired by the quotes above, moving forward I plan to be purposeful and create space for my kids during their days where there is nothing to do, nothing planned, just them, our home and empty space for them to fill.
Since we have been on the go with our travels, and there has been a lot of stimulus, coming off this train may not be easy. I am banking on there being groaning and mumbling or "when will this be over" moments. Yet I will dig down deep (although I will want to quiet their opposition) and give them the space to be uncomfortable and figure it out on their own.
Listening to their discontent is something I will need to deal with in order for my kids to experience stillness and silence. I trust as they reintroduce themselves to the space it will give them opportunities to explore their innate interests. When I have done this in the past it is always interesting to me to see how they each of my children gravitate towards different things - one child loves to write, another child organizes baseball cards and another builds legos. If I was constantly dictating their time, they wouldn't be able to unlock these intrinsic interests and explore them.
And yes, we will continue to have plenty of family moments this summer as well. As entertaining as some of those experiences may be, I hope they are more so engaging; give wings to my kid's minds, hearts and souls.
Seeing my kids engaged in their lives, and not just existing in them, is a beautiful sight I hope to witness a lot of this summer!
I will be sharing photos of our #engagingsummer moments (I included a few above already). Feel free to do the same and add #engagingsummer to your posts to grow this purposeful community!
"God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts.
Use them well to serve one another."
- 1 Peter 4:10