It may be ninety-five degrees out but, in my house, fall is in the air. We’re already scribbling on calendars, negotiating carpools, and compiling lists of needed school supplies. We try to be thoughtful and cautious in our planning. However, like first-time parents pledging allegiance to sleep schedules and well-controlled parenting strategies, we’re quickly reminded that life isn’t as predictably neat and tidy as our carefully scripted plan.
How can we be strategic in making decisions that reflect what we want most for our family?
What are some practical tools that can help?
Wise words from time-management guru Steven Covey:
The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
Several weeks ago, I shared a short list of (non-parenting) books that have impacted my parenting. They’ve shaped the lens through which I view the world and, as a result, the way we parent our kids. What we read, listen to, and think about matters.
A friend recently recommended a podcast she found to be particularly insightful and helpful. When I finally made time to listen to it, I felt the same. As an unexpected bonus, my husband happened to be in the room at the time. As I cleaned out my desk and he sorted through and filed paperwork, the hour spent together was well invested. I took detailed notes. We paused the podcast to re-listen to a few sections. The ideas presented have peppered our subsequent conversations.
I esteem the tremendous value of ideas and philosophies but, without practical application, I’m left feeling like a failure (compared to whatever ideal) rather than better equipped. How to Raise Alien Children is a refreshing balance of theory and practical application. A few of the particularly helpful questions that have lingered in our home:
- How do we decide what activities are worth our time?
- How does my own childhood influence my parenting decisions?
- What’s the culture of our home? Is it a safe place of belonging?
How do our parenting choices shape the way in which our kids will view/interact with the world as teenagers and young adults?
As you go about your errands and planning and preparation for the fall, I commend to you How to Raise an Alien Child by Jen Wilkin of The Gospel Coalition. It’s well worth your investment of time.
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What are some other podcasts or resources that have been helpful to you in your parenting journey? Please share in the comments for the benefit of others.