Find time to spend time with your children one on one. Dedicated parent/child time does not need to involve elaborate activities or extensive amounts of time. Take one child with you on a trip to the grocery store, or take one child out for ice cream or coffee. Challenge yourself to ask questions and give affirmations rather than direction. Give your child time and space to express thoughts that the busyness of daily life might crowd out. Listen attentively; what can you learn about your child?
Put Yourself in Timeout
For parents with children in the home, summer can offer its own set of challenges. Give yourself permission to take “timeouts.” Nurture meaningful friendships, find ways to prioritize your own spiritual growth, or plan a date with your spouse. You will ultimately be a more effective (and happier!) parent if you consider your own needs too. A few ideas: go on a coffee date with a friend; attend early morning Mass or Eucharistic Adoration by yourself; go for evening walks; spend time on enjoyable hobbies (i.e. gardening, baking, golfing, exercise — whatever fills you with life!)