It’s a glorious summer day. Kids are out of school and the sun is shining. Beach day is in order. Swimsuits are on, sunscreen lathered, car loaded with all the beach necessities—chairs, towels, umbrella, sand toys, boogie boards, snacks, and diapers. It’s like we are moving to take our small entourage of kids AND friends to the beach. Can’t complain as we have the privilege of basking in the sun and playing in the waves on this beautiful summer day. Everyone is loaded up, ready for a sun-shining, FUN-filled day. And then it happens…
The first whining. Then the poking and prodding. And full-fledged bickering and complaining is unleashed. We went from 0 to 100 in a matter of minutes. Barely made it out of our neighborhood before the metaphorical clouds and rain start flooding the inside of the car. Seriously!?!?! Can’t we just have FUN?!?! Without any fighting, whining, bickering, sassing, complaining?!?! Am I the only parent who embarks on what is supposed to be an awesome day only to have it go in the seemingly completely opposite direction?
Do not lose heart, moms and dads. I wish I could say that I remain calm and handle it this way every time…trust me, I don’t. In fact, penning this blog is as much for me as it is for you. Here are a few reminders to just have FUN even when things are anything but fun on these summer days with kids, friends, activities, and more.
Focus on God first thing. Seriously, call upon Him on 9-1-1- speed dial stat! When things are beginning to go awry, take some individual time to talk to God. Ask Him to first and foremost bring calm and peace into your heart so you can best handle whatever the kids are throwing at you (literally and figuratively). It may mean blasting a worship song. Shoot up a quick arrow prayer seeking His help. Even interrupt the kids’ conflict to pray for the travels to wherever you’re en route. Invite God into the situation.
Unwind. Easier said than done, trust me I get it. First, unwind in the sense of shaking it off (as best as possible) and trying to engage yourself in fun. Again, not easy especially if you are Type A and/or wanting things to go a certain picturesque way. Let your hair down, breathe, and somehow someway find the FUN in the midst of the chaos.
Navigate back together. Instead of discord and disagreement come to a place of resolution and unity. You do not have to be a therapist nor a terrorist negotiator. It may be as “simple” as redirecting to something else. Have a singing contest. Play a game. Get on the same page, looking forward to what the day holds. Or if the conflict has to be unpacked then do so in as Godly a manner as possible. Have each person 100% own his/her part as opposed to playing the stereotypical blame game. Encourage listening and even reflective listening in which your child has to state back what he/she hears their sibling or friend saying. Get to a place of apologizing and most importantly moving forward to what the wonderful day can still hold.
You can do it, mom and dad! It is not easy. It is still a major work in progress in our household. But God has great, FUN things this summer. Don’t let a little hiccup or major hurdle rain on your parade. You got this!