Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunday 30s

Okay, I have forgotten enough good lessons about life that I would probably prosper by not learning anything new and just trying to remember what I've learned in the past. Here's an example.

During grad school, my wife and I made good friends with John Alexander, former president of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship. Among the things that he told us about were what he called "Sunday 30s." He and his wife Betty had four children, and every Sunday he would give each child 30 minutes in which to do whatever the child wanted (within legal bounds I suppose). As a result, he spent a lot of time building forts and attending tea parties.

Well, I did this for years with my oldest son, but I had pretty much forgotten about it until recently. We started them up again, and my boys love them. Favorite activities include wrestling and playing video games.

The value of Sunday 30s is not so much the time but rather the reorientation of parent-child interactions. For me, there are some kid activities that I just don't enjoy at all, and so throughout the week I structure my time with them toward mutually shared interests (plus they sometimes just have to tag along with what I'm doing.) Sunday 30s affirms their interests as important while making me try new things. Makes me wonder why I ever stopped.

It's probably good that I'm posting about this now before I forget about them again.... :-(

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