Thank you for the way you’ve reached out and supported what we’re trying to do to stay connected with your students and families during this season. As a parent of teenagers, I understand the responsibility you feel to take care of your family… I’m so thankful for those of you who’ve reached out to me (and I know many others) checking on us, offering to help, and supporting us. You’re setting a great example for your kids.
We’ve had conversations with many of you about dealing with your daily family schedule, and ideas that will help your teenagers survive and thrive during this crazy season of life. Here are a few quick thoughts…
1. Give Structure—Your kids have diverse personality types, so their needs are different in times of uncertainty. In our family, less structure is better… normally. But in this season, we’ve added some structure that isn’t normal for us (just click here to see our new schedule) A little bit of structure when all around them feels strangely unstructured may be just what your kids need.
2. Unplug—Most of us crave information and avoid boredom… That’s a recipe for the over-consumption of technology. Our basic rule during this season is to do MORE CREATING and LESS CONSUMING. Watching Netflix and playing a game isn’t bad. In fact, I might argue that it’s needed. Make sure you’re balancing your media consumption with some sort of creative activity.
This season is redefining “normal” for everyone. Instead of grieving this, celebrate the opportunity to create some new “normals” and rhythms in your own family.Click to tweet
3. Relax the Rules—No structure is bad, but too much structure can be just as bad. (I’m not talking about health/safety rules—keep all those!) But in your family order, consider how you can create a less stressful environment by relaxing some of your normal rules.
4. Talk… a Lot—Everything I’ve listed so far came out of a lot of conversations with my wife and my kids. Listen… Lean in… Seize moments… Make sure the people you love know you love them, and that they are your priority. And let me remind you that some of your kids need more face-to-face time than others.
This season is redefining “normal” for everyone. Instead of grieving this, celebrate the opportunity to create some new “normals” and rhythms in your own family. What if our story in a few years is: “Remember the coronavirus crisis of 2020? That’s when everything changed in our family, and I’m so thankful.”
We can’t control the outcome of our pandemic response, but we can always control our outlook. Remember James 1:2-4: “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
I love you, and I’m praying for you. Be well…