It is estimated that parents have 3000 hours of intentional time with their kids each year. The Kids Team knows that those hours are vital in the social, emotional, physical and spiritual development of your kids. In 2019, we want to encourage and challenge you to find rhythms in your home that are engaging, creative, fun and allow for natural conversations about faith and Jesus. Every month a staff member from the Kids Ministry Team will share an idea from their family rhythm that will guide you in making those 3000 hours a year a little more intentional. Join us each month by sharing how you incorporated the month’s challenge in your home. Post your family experiences to social media using #mhcfamilychallenge for chances to win prizes and encourage other families to join the challenge!
Walking is a part of my weekly rhythm
Often I walk with my husband as it is the best time for us to catch up and it gives us a little alone time (our kids are now old enough that we can make this happen…if you aren’t there yet, just blink and your time will come). Sometimes my walk is just me and the dog. But my favorite walks include my kids. Walking with my kids has given me a window into their lives. I realized when my kids were younger, as we walked along sidewalks or trails, their imaginations would explode and I was hooked to many of their make believe stories. As they have gotten older their willingness to share what is on their mind or heart is elevated when we are walking. They ask really good questions and are more willing to engage in conversation.
Let’s be honest, there are times I invite my kids to walk and you would think that I asked them to cut off their arm, but I keep inviting and may even force their participation. Sometimes our walks become an arguing match between them or a contest to see who can annoy the other the most, and I can’t wait for the walk to end, but I keep inviting and may even force their participation. Sometimes we walk and not much conversation is had, but I keep inviting. Why? Because of the potential. The potential for engaging, witty, rewarding, life giving conversation with my kids. Walks remove distractions from home and allows me to be present, to know about their friends, to hear about their day at school, to understand how they are processing a current event, etc. Walking is a rhythm in our family.
Get outside and take a walk!
Some walks can be with one kid and some with all of your kids. If your kids are young, ask them what they see and hear that God has created or have them make up a story that may continue on future walks. If your kids are older, you can have an open ended question ready to ask or just walk and wait for them to begin talking. Don’t force conversation, it will happen naturally. Take a walk and be present with your kids.
Take a picture of you and your kids on a walk before the end of the month and post to social media using #mhcfamilychallenge.
Some of our favorite trails: