I was thinking about family time spent with your children and how crucial it can be in today’s world. When asked children say the number one thing they want most from their parents is time.
Most of us are caught up in a hectic whirlwind of activities which start on Monday morning, end on Sunday night and then begin all over again. Time slips by as we rush to complete urgent tasks which relate to juggling jobs, running the household, chauffeuring our children, our parents, relatives and spouses to work, school, appointments and commitments. Yet, we all acknowledge, that spending quality time together is the best way we have to show each other that we care and that our families are important. When I began teaching I remember a wise, experienced teacher telling me “the enemy of the important is the urgent”. It is so easy for me to get caught up in the urgent that I forget the important. It is true that we do have truly “urgent” things that need to be done right away, but at times it seems today’s world has far too many “urgent” things which crowd out the important things.
I came across a list of ways to spend more time with your family and I thought I would share a few of them with you:
- Have a regular ‘date’ with each of your children. When our children were young my husband and I would each take a child out, go for a snack or meal and just do whatever they chose. The interesting thing is that we ended up in many places we would have never chosen if it was "up to the adults”. One time we ended up at the laundromat (that was because one of our children thought it was the only place that had vending machines with candy in them. Another time we ended up at the airport just watching planes, I would have never chosen that one but we had some of our best talks just sitting by the fence watching planes taxi.
- With teenagers I think getting them to talk can be quite challenging. With our children it seemed getting them away from the house, sitting down at Starbucks (a little caffeine in their system always seemed to help) and just catching up away from the “normal” helped loosen up their tongue.
- The power of a note – I still have many of the notes others have given me. Many times a handwritten thoughtful note can break through barriers that the spoken word seems to miss. In our world of texting (which I am very thankful for - it keeps me updated and part of my children’s adult lives) the written word is kept and treasured. One of my favorite times when we get together for special days and birthdays is to listen to the special thoughts shared on cards.
One thing I have seen throughout the years is that each child is uniquely created. These thoughts may not resound with you and your family - that is not the important thing. The important thing is for each of us to find what works for each child and build on that. Thanks for reading and I hope it has stimulated your weeks activities. If you would like to read another blog about parenting please click the link. Doctor Sears is also a great source, he is a world renown pediatrician who offers practical informative information for parents.