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3kidsinsnowThis week our family had an unexpected winter blast hit on the first week of March. School was out, I cancelled meetings at my office, and we all bundled up for a day of snow and sledding. My oldest daughter is getting older and I am learning to cherish unexpected fun moments with the family. I often forget that these times don’t last forever. Thinking back on the day of fun I could not help but process some parenting lessons I have been learning over the past year…

Make memories together // give your kids time

Taking time to play with your kids in snow takes time. Getting dressed, getting them dressed, getting out the sled, and getting everyone out the door is not always easy and takes time! We struggle to give kids time often because we all feel so stretched, but we need to all do better jobs of scheduling time with our kids. Give your kids the gift of time…planned and unplanned. Trips and dates are good but my girls need more of me giving them time to whatever they want to do. Time is the gift you can give that pays off down the road in the form of friendship!

Help them have a good day // serve your kids

When you head out to play in the snow someone is bound to have a problem. Gloves get wet. People fall down. Stuff happens! The best thing you can do is help solve their problem so they can keep enjoying the snow (making memories)! As a dad I need to step back and remember that as much as I go out of my way to serve adults around me I am also called to serve and model sacrifice for my kids. I’m not talking about spoiling them. I am talking about going out of our ways to help my kids when they need help. I always want my kids to know they are not a bother to me!

Embrace the unexpected opportunities // be flexible

I did not plan a snow day, it just happened. I can get frustrated about my calendar being shot or I can use it as an opportunity to hang out with my kids. The real art of being an engaged parent is the willingness to put others needs before my own and seek out the unexpected moments in life. When we are flexible we open ourselves up to some great parenting moments. Problems become chances to influence and teach our kids. I have to remember to calm down and allow God to give me the perfect moments to influence my kids!