The famous song by the Rolling Stones, “Time is on my side” couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many things money can’t buy and ‘time’ is one of them. It’s actually worth more than money. Some say Queen Elizabeth’s last words on her death bed were “all my possessions for a moment of time”.
Yes, time is a precious commodity and especially when it comes to our children. There is nothing that we can give them that will have more of an impact on how and ‘who’ they grow up to be. And, really if you think about it, there’s nothing they want more from us than time. I’m not talking about the ‘sittin’ on the couch, watching TV together’ kind of time. Quality time to a kid is nothing more than tossing a ball in the back yard, playing hop scotch on the driveway, jumping together on the trampoline or any number of other kind of activities. I can remember many times my kids would come beg me to go jump on the trampoline with them. More often than not I was “too busy”. They would be disappointed but understood (probably not, thinking back on it). The times I would hop up and go jump with them were always extremely fun and very enjoyable, not just for them but for me as well!
We have to ‘make’ time and the best way I’ve found to do this is to carve out slices of time from my busy day. How do you do this? By making it a priority! It must be a priority to spend some quality time with your kids every day or you will not make it happen. It’s too easy in this day and age to just let them entertain themselves. TV, computers, IPods, tablets…Wii and X-box will be your kids’ entertainment if you are not. One thing you can do starting today is set up a ‘family time’ every evening. We have done this for many years and it’s not always easy, and we miss several days, but it helps to have a designated, set aside time every evening to get together as a family and read some life lesson from a book, play a board game, discuss a relevant topic or whatever, just do it! We study a bible lesson and there are many ‘family time’ books out there with little daily lessons designed just for this purpose (PM me and I can give you a list). The important thing is to make this a habit. Start small with just 10 minutes or so. You’ll find that the bonding you have with your kids, and the joy of just spending time with them is priceless! Money cannot buy it! And once the day is done, you can’t get it back. It’s gone forever. Another day in your children’s life that can’t be taken back.
Another great time to spend with your family is the dinner table. Make the conversation meaningful. Not just “how was school today?” but real and fun and deep conversations. Sometimes, just to hear you and your spouse discuss some topic is extremely educational for them. Even if it’s about politics or what happened in the office today. Hearing you and your spouse and how you interact will teach them how to interact as well. Rhetoric and logic (extremely valuable life skills) can be taught in this manner. Include your children in your conversations! It will mean a lot to them just to be asked “what do you think?” and make them feel important, loved and included. You can gently steer their thoughts and help them develop a critical mind. Too often in this day and age, and I’m very guilty in this area, we simply “don’t have the time” to sit down and eat together as a family. There’s sports and band and gymnastics and sooo many other things we “got goin’ on” that there is NO time!
How do you “find the time?” Leave a comment below to share.
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