Making the Most of Summer

How To Connect With Your Spouse During The Holidays

Wanna make the Most of Summer 2021?  

It’s summer time! We are so excited to talk about summer.  

What are we going to do with our 104 days of summer? In the words of Phineas and Ferb (characters from a Disney show the Mannings LOVE!),

“There’s 104 days in summer vacation and school comes along just to end it. So, the annual problem for our generation is finding a good way to spend it.”  

So, the big question for today is how are we going to spend our 104 days of summer? We want to flip your thinking and hopefully give you a fresh perspective of how amazing summer can be for your family!   

Before we jump in, we invite you to go back and listen to:  

  • Podcast 20: Making Family Vacations Memorable 
  • Podcast 74: Building a Childhood  

Ask yourself, what did you love about your childhood summers?  

“What I love about summer is the pace of life changes. It gives us an excuse to be out later and sleep in.” – Suzanne 

“Summer is cool because there are lots of water activities and just being outside!” – Don 

There are many, many reasons to love summer:  

  • Sun sets later 
  • Movie nights 
  • Sleeping in 
  • Reading books 
  • Swimming 
  • Being outside 
  • Family gatherings 
  • Vacations 
  • Motivation to exercise 

Some people don’t love the free-flow of summer and the whole “school system” being thrown out the window. Sometimes parents even think their kids are lazy because all they want to do is be on technology and lay around.  

How to Have Peace and Rest in Your House

Here are two words to help focus your summer and help connect your family: Routine & Restoration

#1 Routine

Routines are good to have during summer as long as they are flexible!  

Routines help families make the most of their summer. Suzanne is not a big fan of routines, but if we are not careful, we will look up and summer is over.   

“Making a plan helps you accomplish the things you want to do throughout the summer. They can be a framework for peace, rest, and fun!” – Suzanne

The pool is a great example! Some seasons we had our own pool but others we’ve had to get a routine! We decided to make a list of people who have a pool and plan out what days we would go. This gave us things to do throughout the week and ways to spend time outside without melting in the Texas heat!  

Here are a few other ideas:  

  • List of books for the kids read 
  • Plan weekly activities (friends come over, shopping, stay home in pjs all day) 
  • Indoor things to do (trampoline parks, putt putt golf, bowling) 
  • Trips to the waterpark 
  • One season we had 6 Flags passes (amusement park in our city) 
  • Teach a new skill (cooking, sewing, playing an instrument, sports) 
Bottom Line: The plan is nothing, but planning is everything! Use planning to bring peace and fun into your home!  

Summers look different as kids age. Depending on what age they are, you build a routine based on the best ways to get their energy out!  

Summer is a time to learn new skills or get better at the skills they already have. Our summers were spent playing baseball, going to sports camps, and finding ways to connect with our kids through sports or activities they liked!  

How to Build a Routine:  

  • Morning: send them outside (play while it is cool)  
  • Afternoon: doing something inside (watch a movie, or series)  
  • Evening: family walk, pool, game night  

Breaking the day up into 3 parts creates a natural routine. Then parents can plug in different activities based on what is best for the family.  

Routines help you accomplish the goal of summer, which is restoration. Our kids need to be filled up and refueled from the school year.  

We love how summer is an opportunity to wash the world off our kids and reground them as they head into another year. It’s a restorative season we want to lean into, not pass us by!  

#2 Restoration 

A Manning family goal was to fill the summer with memories and laughter! Parents, join us! Do something to create laughter and fun in your home this summer!  

What if you did more with siblings than friends during the summer? We want to create memories within the family.  

A great example of this is vacations. We LOVE vacations but we rarely took friends on our trips. We decided to go as a family and intentionally spend this time making family memories.  

Vacations allow us, as parents, to be available and present. The distractions of home are removed and a space to pay attention to our kids is created.  

“Vacations allowed me to see my kids and fall in love with them again! I stopped seeing them as “work” and focused on all the things I enjoyed about them.” – Suz 

Bring Restoration into Your Summer  

Start by filling your kids up with God things! Find ways to focus their attention and affection on God.  

Practical ways: 

  • Read or listen to a Bible-based book as a family  
  • Chronicles of Narnia is a great one!  
  • Listen to worship music 
  • See wonders in nature 
  • Plan a trip to the mountains or beach to see how big God is 
  • Make a craft centered on the Bible 

Parents, you have influence over the culture in your home! You can make it an amazing summer! Routines and restoration come through relationships. When you stop and plan your summer, you will see the fruit in your family!  

Where Do We Start?  

Before any season starts, we’d have a family meeting and talk about the season ahead.  

  • Ask, what do we want to do with our summer?  
  • Make a list of all the things your family dreams of doing  
  • Write the list down and put it somewhere the whole family can see!

Don’t tell the kids what you are going to do, give them a chance to speak into the summer and build it with you! Ask them what they think and invite them into planning the summer!

We encourage you to make summer a time for your whole family to do something together. Make the list and look over it at the end of the summer. If your family made over 50% of the things happen have a celebration dinner…with dessert! 

Bottom Line: You are going for connections! Take the routines and intentional times of rest to build a plan for the summer! One that everyone loves!   

Psalms 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” 

Choose to build a summer that will grow your kids. A summer to build up your family and restore their hearts for the seasons ahead.  

Last thing! We invite you to go onto Instagram, Facebook, and wherever you follow us and list some of your plans! We want to hear about them! Others do too!!
How To Connect With Your Spouse During The Holidays

If you have a question or a parenting issue that you’d like us to discuss in a future podcast, email us at [email protected].

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