People always say “time is money.” I say “time is love.” It is spending time with our children, not money, that demonstrates love. Spend more time with them.
We want to believe the myth that all we need is quality time with our kids. But, our kids need quantity time. Have you ever heard your child say to you, “Mom, Dad, we have played way too much. Why don’t you go back to work and get some things done.” Of course not. They want quantity time.
Now, I want you to remember that your time with your child does not have to be some big, planned, vacation, lengthy event or activity. Just grab what I call, “small pockets of time” with your child. For example, the next time you walk in the door from work and the kids meet you wanting your full attention, instead of telling them you’re going upstairs to change before you play with them….stop, drop and listen. Stop when you come in the door, drop to your knees, listen to them, hug them, play with them. They’ll be bored with you after 60 seconds anyway!
It also helps me to have all of my kids sports and school activities on my calendar, even if I can’t make all of them, so that I can make sure to work as much of it into my day as possible. Right after a business lunch, I dropped by my daughter, Megan’s, school pep rally to watch for just 20 minutes before returning to the office. She saw me, I saw her. We smiled at each other. It was just a small pocket of time to connect with my daughter.
And, every month, on each of my kids birthday dates, I take them somewhere they want to go. For example, Emily’s birthday is March 10. So on the 10th of each month, it’s her turn. It may be something as simple as going bike riding or getting hot chocolate before school.
I was a timer at my daughter’s swim meet several years ago. The guy I was timing with was being congratulated because his high school daughter made homecoming court. I asked him if he was looking forward to escorting her on the football field at halftime. He replied that he had a big trip and wouldn’t be there. I said, “John, if you are not there, she will never forget it. And, if you are there, she will never forget it. Which memory of you, would you like her to have? Well, John can canceled his trip. He was probably only with his daughter for 20 minutes that night. But it was a small pocket of time she will never forget.
Be there and be connected in those small pockets of time. How are you connecting with your kids in those small pockets of time?