Tuesday, July 8, 2014

You Don't Have Time To Not Have Time


 


“I wish my kids were older so we could do more things together.”

“I wish I had more time to spend with my kids.”
“If my kids weren’t so busy, we could do more things together.”
Ever feel this way? These are deceptive concepts. The truth is, you don’t have to wait until your kids are older to do things together. You do have time to spend with them. And you control your kids’ schedules, so if they are too busy, cut some activities out.
You only have about 18 years with each of your children. You simply don’t have time to wait. They will be grown and out the door while you are still wishing they were old enough to do things with.
You can start involving your children in daily family life at a very young age. When they are 1, they can help put away silverware after washing. Yes, it will take longer as you guide their little hands in putting away each piece. One. At. A . Time.
And, yes, that silverware will end up with tiny little fingerprints all over, but that’s ok. We’re not in a Martha Stewart competition here, girls.
We are raising the next generation and if we don’t engage them, someone else will. And no telling who or what that will be.
At 2 they can help sweep, rake, and bake right along side mommy and daddy.  When they are 3 they can learn which tool is which and help daddy work on the mower or find worms for fishing.
I came home one day to find my 7 year old using a circular saw and my 5 year old on the roof of the clubhouse. I panicked. Moms don’t like to see such things. But they were working on a project with Dad. He told me to go inside, they needed to learn to be men.
You know what? He was right. They needed to learn these things. They needed to spend time with their dad. How else would they learn? What better way to learn?
He could have waited until they were “old enough”. He could have built the clubhouse without them. He could have just wished it all. My heart would have felt better. But those boys would have lost out. Lost out on learning skills, lost out on time with their dad and lost out on learning the art of work ethic.
We spend time on many things. Which of those things can you involve your children in? Yard work, house work, golfing, crafting, collecting? The list is endless. They really aren’t too young, tailor the activity to involve them at any age.
Feeling they are too busy? Kids don’t need to be constantly going going going. They really don’t need to be involved in all the activities.
What they really need is relationships built with you. Cut some activities out, scale back and spend that time engaging them, share daily life with them and watch them grow.
You’ll be thankful you did.

(The photo above is my husband and firstborn back in the day.  He has been a dad who involves his kids in pretty much everything. And I love him even more for it!)


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