When Love is Spelled T.I.M.E.

Feb 11, 2012   //   by admin   //   New Posts  //  No Comments

 

 

As I was processing through my weekly schedule a while back, I looked for an opportunity to take advantage of an unusually warm winter and do some work outside.  It didn’t take long to see the only opportunity was Saturday afternoon, but that particular afternoon was highlighted in orange identifying it as “family time”.  In my home, there are two working parents who manage to hold down three jobs and raise two young children without utilizing daycare… a logistical nightmare even for UPS.

I have frequently tried to reason with myself that the amount of time spent with the kids doesn’t matter nearly as much as the quality of the time they do get.  Turns out, they really need both.  As parents, we are charged to (a) provide for our children and (b) prepare them for life after us.  In order to do that, we must spend a great deal of well utilized time with each and every one of them.  I am consumed with building healthy relationships with my girls, not just entertaining them.

A few years ago, my wife and I made some very strategic decisions and made valuable sacrifices to maximize our time with the children.  We decided that throughout these early formative years, we will intentionally make less money by seeing less clients and turning down full time employment with “fatter salaries”.  We will spend less time with our friends, sacrificing some meaningful relationships with others, to spend more time with the kids.  Additionally, I have watched far fewer baseball games and my wife has attended far fewer scrapbooking parties since we made these key decisions to heavily invest our time into the precious gifts God has given us.

Our experience here at Solid Ground Counseling has shown over and over, that parents fail through a lack of purpose, not purposely pursuing the hearts and minds of our children.  If I am not willing or able to give my girls the attention they so desperately want, somebody else will.  I’m not going to lie friends, that freaks me out!  I purposely want to know what my kids think are cool, what they are afraid of, who their best friends are, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and what they think about when I am not around.  We can only ever know the answer to these questions by spending quantities of quality time with our children.  Dr. Tim Kimmel, in his book Grace Based Parenting, says “children feel significant when they know they have our attention… It’s hard to build a significant purpose into people we aren’t paying careful attention to.  It’s our attention to the finer details that tells them how much they truly matter to us.”

If you are a new parent, or a parent who was touched by this idea and would like some help, start by scheduling a few activities today.  Make them things that are both fun and interactive.  Make them activities that require all of you to participate, like board games, book readings, ice skating, or my personal favorite, playing house.  When my daughter comes back into the room after being gone for three minutes, her eyes light up when I tell her how I took really good care of her doll “Lucy” by feeding her and changing her little diaper.  She loves that I love her interests and passions.  As my kids see my heart, they are more likely to show me theirs.

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