One of the things that we always want to be really careful of is that, when you’re designing rhythms, whether they’re daily rhythms, weekly rhythms. Oftentimes, one of the mistakes we tend to make is we just schedule the hard stuff, the stuff that has to get done, the stuff that makes us more productive, and man, that’s not what we’re about with the seven-day rhythms. We want to create our ideal week, and so that means we’re balancing things like purpose and play. We’re having a lot of fun as a family in ways that really is life-giving for the whole family, as well as getting a lot of stuff done. For us, that’s of different things in different seasons, different outdoor activities that we’re really into, like last year we were really into pickle ball; we’re excited, the weather is just getting nice enough that we’re going to start getting back into that. We do our reading night on Monday night, our media night on Wednesday night, our Shabbat time, where we have nice desserts.
It’s really important to have fun stuff that your family enjoys doing; things that you guys, as a family, really bond around, and it’s just as critical to schedule that stuff in as it is any of the productive stuff. This is much more of work hard, play hard, or work intentionally, play intentionally. Play should have a level of intentionality around it. So make it so that you love your week, and each of your kids loves your week. If you’re able to live that ideal week, you can sense that, as you’re getting closer and closer to actually living into that seven-day rhythm, that your family is thriving more, enjoying it more. But Jeff, how do you guys think about how to balance, or make sure you’re integrating, fun into a really purposeful family rhythm?
I love this one, and I think, especially with toddlers, this is the goal. There’s too much research, there’s too much data, on play is actually how you learn; it’s actually how your brain forms, it’s how curiosity… Especially at those younger stages, just play. I was just cracking up; we’re super big on… We watch shows on screens and all that, but we try super hard to not, and it’s fun once you do get over that hump of the kids just don’t even ask much anymore and they just go outside. I know a lot of parents, they talk about that, where it’s that two week gap where you have to get over your kids complaining about it, and then it’s just like, “If it’s a no, it’s a no.”
So we’ve been doing that for years, and the kids love it. Even yesterday I was cracking up; Kinslee found a beetle outside and then put that beetle in her little “PJ Mask” car. You probably don’t know that, because you’re not… When you’re a parent, you’re on top of all the shows, but “PJ Masks” is… So they literally spent an hour, her and Cannon, just literally trucking this beetle around in their toy car in the driveway. So unstructured play, too…
There’s two things I’ll say; there’s two tracks. Really cultivate unstructured play with your kids, and if you do have a lifestyle that has been more conducive to screens, or inside, or whatever… I just heard a stat yesterday; it’s crazy. 93% of our lives is spent inside in an unnatural, fake environment. That’s crazy. That’s crazy. If you do that, understand that hump will come, meaning if you are going to try to lean into this, then you have to at least go for it for a couple weeks until you start seeing some fruit, but there’s two tracks. There’s the unstructured play, which is… Cultivate that, try to live in that. It’s super healthy, especially for toddlers, just for their curiosity, and learning, and play, and language skills, and motor skills, etc. And then two, what you’re saying, is more of the intentional vision-casting fun, which is more like, inject more holiday-like moments into your day and your week.
Whether it’s pool time, whether it’s family walk time, whether it’s something dumb or fun you do at dinner. I’m really sporadic at dinner and I just want to make dinners fun, so I’ll just stand up on the chair and start yelling or something. I do dumb stuff because I want them to just remember that this is where fun happens, not where I’m always saying, “No,” or, “Do this, do that.” I think have those two tracks, pursue both those tracks, and it’s really important.