“Recalculating,” states the voice on the GPS unit. “Recalculating,” she repeats once again as we find ourselves off course on a trip.

It’s a scene most of us are familiar with in some way. Even if we don’t have a GPS unit, we’ve likely been around this new technology at one time or another.

I recently was struck by the word “recalculating” and how that word can be used to describe what happens when we are considering or navigating change. In fact, the concept of “examining” the realities of life and how those measure up to our vision for our family is an important strategy for parents to be doing on a regular basis. If reality doesn’t match up to vision, then the option to “recalculate” may be important.

What does recalculating look like practically? Here are some ways families I personally know have chosen to recalculate:

o Jeff and Sienna chose to cut back on their volunteer commitments because they realized they were both away from home in the evenings too often.

o John chose to say no to overtime hours so he could spend more time with his family.

o Todd and Laura chose to move from two incomes to one income to simplify their lives.

o As a single mom, Jennifer decided to search for a new job that was less stressful than her current job.

o Savannah and her husband realized that they were drifting apart in their marriage. They recalculated and put monthly date nights on their calendar to invest in their marriage.

o After trying every consequence and motivational strategy for their son’s academic struggles, Tom and Sarah made the decision to seek professional help for their child who was eventually diagnosed with ADHD.

o Paul and Brenda wanted their family to have dinner together at least five nights a week. In order to regain that balance they realized that they needed to limit their children’s extra curricular sports and activities to no more than two per child.

The only way we can recalculate is to slow down enough to examine and evaluate the condition of our relationships, the habits of our family, and the daily stresses of our life. By asking, “Is this the life I want to live?” we can begin the process of evaluating. If the answer is “No,” then recalculate and get your family headed back in the right direction.

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