Welcome to 2021!
We did it - we made it through 2020. And while I’m sure we’ve all been eagerly waiting to say goodbye to 2020, maybe you are noticing, like me, that not much changed when the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve.
I still need to complete everyday tasks and chores. Laundry needs to be washed and dried and folded and put away. The kitchen needs to be cleaned. Floors need to be vacuumed. The year may be new, but the tasks are not. And if you have kids in your house, there’s that pesky little thing called school.
It is easy to become overwhelmed. Very easy. Instead, take a deep breath with me. Seriously, do it. And now read through some ideas that a few of us on the Berean Kids staff are implementing to enter this new year with a positive perspective.
7 Practical Tips for a Fresh Start in 2021
Choose One Thing
Admit you can’t do all the things. Social media has a way of telling us that "everyone else is doing it all." Guess what? They aren’t doing all the things. They are just really good at taking pretty pictures. Instead, choose one thing that you are going to have as a goal. Maybe it’s completing one chore a day. Maybe it’s prepping tomorrow's lunches in the evening. Maybe it’s getting up five minutes before everyone else in your house to enjoy a few minutes of quiet.
Enjoy Little Car Trips
From the time my kids were little, I felt great satisfaction getting everyone into the car. Once kids are buckled in, they can’t go anywhere. If you have really small kids, maybe this means you have a chance to just sit in one spot for a bit. If you have older kids, you now have a captive audience. Get in the car and drive to get hot cocoa and pray for the opportunity to have a great conversation with your kids.
Ask God to help open your eyes to the ways he is blessing you each day. Maybe it’s witnessing a hug between two kids who always seem to be arguing. Maybe it’s the sunshine coming through the window in the middle of winter. Maybe it’s the chance to FaceTime with a family member. And then – don’t forget this part – share these things with your kids. Tell them how you are seeing God in the everyday moments of life and encourage them to do the same.
Eat Dessert First
Yes, this may be nutritionally wrong, but your kids will be thrilled when they get to eat cookies before the spaghetti and meatballs.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
I used to teach middle school and during my first year, I constantly worried that I wasn’t doing enough. Then I realized that I couldn’t remember everything I learned in middle school. But I did remember the teachers and people who invested in my life and took the time to get to know me. Don’t get me wrong, education is important, but don’t let it become the only focus.
Recess Is a Game-Changer
I know it’s winter. I know all the snow stuff can be overwhelming. But the habit and routine of getting outside for kids – even for 15 minutes – can change the course of a whole day.
Remember That Change Is Stressful
As adults, we tend to enter a new year with a list of 37 things we want to change. That’s overwhelming for kids – and for adults! Talk together as a family and pick one or two things you’d like to do this year and work together.
These are just a few ideas. Maybe you loved them all. Maybe you loved none of them. That’s okay. Think about your family right now. Maybe you have settled into your rhythm and routine – that’s great! Keep doing what works for your unique family. And maybe you look around your house and feel like something needs to change. Go ahead and pick one thing to change and see how it feels. If you don’t like it, stop doing it. And maybe it fits well for your family and after time it becomes part of your routine.
While we have no idea what 2021 will bring, we do know we serve a God who never changes, a God who continues to lavish his love on us. Let's start each day remembering that and letting it shape our interactions with our kids. As Pastor Roger said on Sunday, God has given us everything we need to prevail. His grace and peace will overcome the disruption and chaos in our lives.