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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Swan

Keeping Summer Bliss into the Fall Shift by Wiley Wakeman

Val·ue valyo͞o/: A person’s principles of standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.

It is back to school time and you may start to have mixed feelings. It’s great to get back into a routine, go to bed early and pull out the fall clothes. On the other hand, there may be a sadness in saying goodbye to unrestricted time with your kids, no homework to worry about, more time in the mornings and longer evenings together to enjoy the outdoor time.

How can these feelings be brought into the upcoming fall shift? First, become aware about what it is you enjoy and value, really. Is it time with your child? Is it being outside with them? Is it not having pressures of school, time constraints and homework? Identify what it is. Then, sit for a moment and decide what feeling comes up when this is happening. Freedom? Connection? Love? Contentedness? Happiness? Adventure? Fun? That is the value you want to focus on! That value is what you want to bring into your fall shift.

So, how do we integrate the value into the start of school?  We are so familiar with our routines and busy schedules. Crisp air falls upon us, and we start to dig out the school supplies and prepare for early mornings. We need to remember that it is not just summertime that is causing this feeling. It is possible to feel the feeling in other times of the year, it just takes learning what allows you to feel it.

Here is an example:  I love feeling connection with my daughter when it is just us and no distractions. For that reason, I limit the extra curricular activities on school nights so we can have time together. Then, I can harness my value of connection during the school year. We can spend this time learning and growing together.  It is also important to learn what your child values. When you know this, you can tie the two together beautifully. For example, a mom, like myself, may want to feel connection with their child while the child is all about adventure. Even if mom is not very adventurous, she can use this opportunity to do some adventurous activities with her child and allow them time to connect in a space where the child’s values are being met.  A child can share their passion and may even spark a surprising interest in a new sport or hobby for their parent.

Sometimes just 20 minutes of the child’s valued activity being respected and practiced can have huge effects on your child and on the flow of stepping into the new school year.   By allowing my daughter to choose some of the activities that we do, she feels empowered, important and respected.   Her needs are met and she is growing while my needs of connection are also achieved. It seems to have a lasting effect on the strength of our relationship.

Please remember, we all have different values. Yours may be hearing about soccer practice at dinnertime or learning how gymnastics was while washing dishes together. The key is to find out what is important to you and your family. Then nurture and make time for what you value. It makes sense that what works for one family, most certainly won’t work for yours, since we all value different standards of what is important. This is to be respected.  Start the conversation and find out what works for you.  

Bonus Bit:  My 8 year old daughter and I have started to list weekly “house agreements” on a big white board. Each of us has a section and 5 rows to fill with things we are working on both behavioral and active chores. Some examples are watering plants, no interrupting, no phone time after 5 pm for mom, and change way of speaking to mom. We do a weekly rating system of the agreements that works for us. If the agreement is held up 100%, we replace it with a new agreement.  These “house agreements” have given us both boundaries and homework for a better relationship.

Swan Law has incredible activities and resources to help you along in the process of connecting to your values, beliefs and what is important. If you are interested in learning more from the author, Wiley Wakeman, you can visit

Wiley Wakeman is a Certified Professional Coach focused on Genuine Parenting. She has an extensive background working with Colorado Outward Bound School for the last 17 years. She has an 8 year old daughter and is a single parents. Wiley offers private coaching over the phone, workshops and a Mexico Retreat May 4th- 8th.  Not to miss is a 9 Week Parenting Program and private support group starting Sept.13th for an affordable pilot pricing, all online and on calls so you can be anywhere in the world!  Click here for details:

Wiley also offers free 45 minute strategy sessions so be in touch with her for more information.

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