Hello, Family Brand community! Chris and Melissa here, bringing you some timely insights as we dive into the sunny season. Today, we’re exploring how setting “Summer Agreements” can transform the often daunting, unstructured weeks of summer into a period of growth and enjoyment for the whole family.

Summertime brings a mix of freedom and challenge, especially when it comes to managing time without the school year’s structure. A few years ago, Melissa introduced a fantastic concept to our summer planning that has significantly benefited our family life. Each summer, we encourage everyone in the family to pick something they want to improve on or achieve during these months. Whether it’s learning new skills, like Chris trying to throw left-handed, or setting personal fitness goals, these summer projects bring a sense of purpose and fun.

We also love integrating ideas from inspiring reads into our summer plans. For instance, after reading “Way of the Warrior Kid” by Jocko Willink, our family discussions about summer goals have deepened. The book’s themes about personal discipline and growth resonate with our aim to encourage both physical and mental development over the summer.

However, it’s not just about personal achievements. Setting clear agreements on how the summer will unfold is crucial. These agreements strike a balance between maintaining enough structure to prevent chaos and allowing enough freedom for spontaneous summer fun. For example, discussing and agreeing on curfews, daily routines, and family activities helps manage expectations and keeps everyone on the same page.

This summer, we challenge each of you to think about what agreements would work best for your family. What do you want to achieve? How do you want to feel by the end of the summer? Engage your children in this conversation, let them set their goals, and discuss as a family how you can support each other in achieving these objectives.

As we set these intentions and agreements, we also remember to model these behaviors ourselves. It’s important for kids to see their parents embracing challenges and stepping out of their comfort zones. This summer, let’s all strive to ‘get that dog in us’—putting in the effort and showing up for ourselves and our family.

Wishing you all a summer filled with growth, joy, and meaningful family moments. Go out there and make it amazing!




NEW: What Culture are You Creating In Your Family?

Episode Minute By Minute:

  • 0:32 – The challenge of summer without school structure.
  • 1:06 – Introduction of “Summer Agreements” and how they’ve benefited our family.
  • 1:39 – Chris shares his experience of learning to throw left-handed.
  • 2:20 – Discussion of brain health benefits from learning new skills.
  • 2:32 – Smith family book club and the impact of reading “Way of the Warrior Kid.”
  • 3:00 – How to choose personal goals and skills to develop each summer.
  • 3:56 – Importance of balancing freedom and structure through clear summer agreements.
  • 4:18 – Catalyst for revisiting summer curfew agreements due to an incident with their son.
  • 5:08 – Conversations about expectations and agreements for the summer.
  • 6:03 – Discussion on setting productive patterns and how it impacts summer goals.
  • 6:59 – Expanding the conversation to how you want to feel at the end of the summer.
  • 8:22 – Encouraging families to involve kids in setting summer goals and discussing agreements.
  • 9:35 – Final thoughts on creating a magical summer with both freedom and structure.
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