A few times each year, I take specific time to shift from one season to another. Typically this is at New Years, end of school/beginning of summer, end of summer/beginning of school, and birthdays. Taking time to touch base with my kids during these seasons helps us to forge a connection as we take stock and plan for the future. We dream and develop plans to achieve the dreams.
As these pivot times are approaching, I take each child aside. We might go outside, or talk during a drive. Sometimes we are out for ice cream. Whatever we are doing, I make sure it's just us and we are not going to be interrupted.
Then I ask:
What did you enjoy about the season that's ending (last year, last school year, summer)? Talk a bit. Ask open-ended questions. Post in the comments below if you have great questions that you ask your kids during season shifts.
Make a list of the 3-5 high points. Write them down. I do this in my annual journal, but anywhere will do! You can text them to your child, make a shared note, or put on the family calendar. Writing these down communicates to the child that you care about what's important to them. If you want more information, ask more questions. Remember you are asking to understand, not guide. 🙂
Now ask about goals or dreams for the coming season. What do they want to do this summer? What do they hope for in their new year (at birthday)? What accomplishments are high on their list? Write them down. Use the same place you wrote the good memories.
I generally follow up with their goals/dreams after just a couple of months. I might say something like, "Son, I know you wanted to learn to do a handstand pushup this summer. How is practice going?" Wait for answer. "Is there something I can do to help?" If they aren't sure, it may be they just need TIME to do something. Be sure you carve out that time - then when the time is free, tell them it's a good time to work on that goal. They will love that you remembered and helped them to achieve their goals.
I hope this helps you make good connections with your kids. The time is fleeting. Marking the shifts in season will help you both to build memories and forge a lifelong bond.
What questions do you ask your kids when you're planning a new season? Scroll to the very bottom to leave your answer in the comments section.
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