Family Activities

(From Five Minute Fatherhood podcast episode 1.)

Jeremy: As we think about trying to build our families into teams, one of the things that people almost immediately say is, “Oh, does that mean my kids can’t be in music, can’t be in sports? And it does certainly bring up all those conversations. But one creative thing to consider is that there are ways that the entire family can really engage in an activity that’s traditionally thought of as an individual activity. So an example in our case is, my son Jackson is super into martial arts. He’s the one son, he’s got four sisters. So we just sat down as a family and said, “Hey, let’s all go with Jackson into this sport. And so we all went! We spent two years, April and I got to red belt, all the girls made it to black belt with Jackson. So yeah it was awesome! Be creative! If it’s important enough to that individual, then maybe it’s worth the family trying to figure out how to do it as a team.

Jeff: Yeah and one thing I’ll add to that, some people hear this conversation and they go, “Oh, you must be saying we have to hang out every five minutes or every waking minute of our life.” That’s not what we’re saying! What we’re saying is this culture is actually deeply, deeply, deeply individualistic. And if you don’t have a resisting force, or ethos, towards team, then you will just actually be deeply, deeply, deeply individualistic, just like the culture. So take a couple things and make them a little bit more team oriented. We have toddlers right now, so there’s still not a ton of activities we can do together as a family besides really organic things like going for walks, playing together at set up or one fun one that I’ve realized is I love to build. I’ll make cutting boards made one for you guys. I’ll make you know, bookcases and this and that. And so I’ve realized, I mean I don’t really want my kids yet around the saws yet even, I’m really excited to teach them all those things in this. But what I’ll do is there’s a bunch of steps before in a bunch of steps after that are usually either pre or finishing stages where it’s totally a fun group activity. Like, “Hey Kinsley, you put the glue on, or I give you a fake hammer and you do this, or here’s a tape measure.” And so I actually think that’s a really fun one. It’s like kind of really purposely tried to invite the kids in when I’m trying to make or build something. And they absolutely love it and it’s fun to see them play that.

Jeremy: We’ve always tried to figure out how to do this with work. We’ve owned some of our own companies and my wife just started a sewing studio. So there’s a conversation that goes on, with each of the kids, what are you going to do to be a part of this team effort? Let’s not make this feel like just mom’s project, let’s make it feel like a family team endeavor. So Kelsey especially has been super involved with with her mom and other kids who’ve had different activities. When our kids were really little, we had an ecommerce company and so all of our kids liked put stickers on all the inventory. We always made that their task. Right now in my company, there’s not a lot of obvious places for kids to intersect, but I’m always looking for them. So one of the areas that I found was that, we do a once a month breakfast where the leaders of the company serve all the employees. And so I bring a couple of my girls in, typically to that breakfast to help serve all the employees to help clean up afterwards. And so they spend two or three hours just serving with me, serving our employees some of that stuff just takes a little bit to think about, figure out, be intentional about, be creative around. If you work for a company, is there something going on that that may be a monthly or weekly or small or occasional or or narrow specific that’s like, oh, I think my kid could actually be a part of that.

Jeff: I love that one! And actually, I just thought of this one because of what you said and one thing that we’re really big on and trying to really integrate team nature, but also I think just for the ethics and for them learning to follow Jesus is a generosity and service together as a family in really tangible, giving ways that are not just like, I go on my wells Fargo and give it to someone. You know, cause I think a lot of times families can totally just give their money in a digital way or disconnected way. That’s fine, that’s great. But especially with our kids, we’ve really tried to say, okay, I don’t want me to give or me and Alyssa to give. I want it to feel like the Bethke’s are giving. So we really, really, really try to really include the kids. We try to let them choose if it’s a gift for someone, they get to kind of pick and have insight into it. A lot of little things we do though, usually seasonal. So like right now it’s Christmas where we get Amazon like five times a day cause it’s the only thing we can get here in Maui. So we’ve got, UPS, USPS and FedEx guys come into our house all the time and we know they’re working crazy hours during the holidays and we know it’s really hard on them. So we got ’em, Starbucks gift cards and then the kids are gonna probably write some little coloring pages for them. So we kind of make a thing out of like, hey, we’re all going to thank our mailman. We’ve done the same thing with firemen where we’ll go walk up the street to the fire station and give them a little thank you things as a family. So serving or being generous like and including your kids on that. They love that and it really kind of starts setting a precedent for them.

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