For as long as I can remember, my husband and I took time out spend quality time with each of our children. That’s not easy when your children are involved with dance, singing, church activities, jazz band, and orchestra, but we considered this a priority. Here are a few ways you can make this happen.
Limit Activities. Children are too busy these days. They don’t have enough time to just be kids because parents don’t want to deprive them of any activity they enjoy. But life is a series of choices. We should encourage our children to be a part of any activity they want, but we also need to teach them they can’t do everything they want.
For elementary age children, my suggestion is they not do more than two activities at a time. That will increase when they get to high school. Some activities take more time then others. If music is what they’re interested in, taking lesson for three different instruments might not be that time consuming. Other activities like sports require a greater commitment. But if your high school student is doing something every day of the week, you need to force him to make a choice. That doesn’t mean there won’t be busier times that are short lived, but everyone, including children, need down time.
Have regular family nights. I already talked about on Friday.
Have dates with your children. Have times where each parent goes out with one of their children to spend time only with that child. Susanna Wesley, mother of preachers John and Charles Wesley, spent one hour a week with every one of her children. Considering the results of what her children accomplished in their lifetime, we should follow her example.
A father could take his daughter on a date to dinner and the movies or shopping, and he could take his son to an air show or fishing. The important thing is to have one-on-one time with each of your children.
Don’t smother your children with attention. There is a trend to be a part of our children’s every waking moment. This doesn’t help us develop a close relationship with them. Instead it creates an unhealthy dependence or causes your child to rebel. Quality time happens when we give our children permission to be their own person and to spend quality time alone. Then they’ll be ready to spend time with you.