You don’t have to be a dad long to realize how difficult it is to be consistent. If your like me the question, “how to be a dad?” is not nearly as difficult as “how to be consistent?” Recently I talked with Dr. Richard Vanheukelum, who has been married to Lynette over 35 years and has three great kids. I have personally been blessed by them. He is currently the pastor at Shawnee Baptist Church in Shamong, NJ. The next three Thursday will be posts from our conversation. Today I want to share with you his thoughts on how to be consistent as parents.
Dr. Vanheukelum expressed that it was difficult to be consistent until he developed habits and patterns with his family. To do this he set certain times each week that were devoted to his family. Here is the key to consistency:
Make family time a regular habit and do this by putting it on your calendar.
Over time as certain things became a pattern in the Vanheukelum family, Dr. Vankeukelum found he no longer needed the calendar. As we all know the old adage, “what gets scheduled, gets done.” Make sure you purposefully schedule your family in. He also shared how the calendar like a budget really freed him up to enjoy his family more. He knew what he needed to do and when to do it and that brought freedom.
Dr. Vanheukelum then shared with me some of the things that they had scheduled as a family:
- Family dinners: He was honest and said this was something they did because he did it growing up. He also expressed how important it was to have the time to talk, laugh and share as a family. They also consistently took time to read a short devotional like “Keys for Kids” during this time.
- Saturday mornings: This time was always set aside to be with the family. Often times it included work around the house but when it was done they would play ball or something else.
- Sunday Nights: Dr. Vanheukelum is a pastor so Sunday’s were quite busy but Sunday nights became Pizza night for the family. Then they would watch something like “Masterpiece Theater” on TV. This is something the kids still have fond memories of.
- Family Vacation: “No matter how poor we were we took family vacation each year” Dr. Vanheukelum said. Each year they would go to his dad’s mobile home on the lake. They would swim all day and then have ice cream at night.
- Involved in Church: He shared how being active in church with the kids and having the consistent times together as a family served as a strong one two punch in the development of their kids.
Make sure to check back next Thursday as Dr. Vanheukelum shares 3 areas to focus on as you raise your kids.