I have had many, many ‘school parent’ interactions in the past couple of weeks and the topic of time comes up regularly.
Time is indiscriminate. No one has an extra hour. No one has only 23 hours. We all have the same 24 hours each day. How we choose to spend our time is what counts.
Our children deserve the best of us and our time.
Where you spend your time shows what is important in your life. The children are watching closely. Do you spend time sleeping the day away? Do you spend engaged time with your family? Do you know the words of every television commercial? Do you spend time at your child’s school? Are you always on one electronic device or another? Do you make time to relax your mind and meditate? Where do church and spiritual growth fit into your time?
YOU deserve more of your time — Think about the things that you enjoy doing most. When was the last time you actually did them?
Your children deserve more of your time — Are you creating memories, life lessons, and fun experiences to enhance their life?
Your spouse/significant other deserves more of your time — Do you invest time in your relationship? Is it as happy as it is meant to be?
Make a decision to be intentional with your time.
All of this recent talk of time and its perceived ‘lack’ brought me back to a reading from The Word for You Today devotional from September. The passage was taken from T.D. Jakes’ book He-Motions: Even Strong Men Struggle. I am sharing it with you exactly as it was presented on September 26.
May this reading add value to your day, encourage you to evaluate your time, and challenge you to make changes where needed.
What Your Child Deserves (1)
Children are a gift from the Lord – Psalm 127:3
Your children deserve certain things, like
(1) Time. Not leftover time at the end of the day, but prioritized time. If your life is ruled by a schedule and your children aren’t on it, do something – quickly. Otherwise there’ll come a day when you’re not include in their schedule. Simply watching television together for three hours won’t cut it; you must be “emotionally present.” Sometimes that means letting them see your fears and insecurities, even as they witness your delight and appreciation of them.
(2) Openness. There’s so much our children can teach us about themselves, about ourselves, and about who God is. Once we realize we don’t have all the answers, we become open to allowing God to speak to us through our children. That kind of receptivity strengthens their faith, helps them remain teachable, and also keeps us young at heart.
(3) Structure. It’s vital, during the formative years, to establish rules and maintain boundaries. Children need guidelines and a framework to feel secure. In the early years this includes things like having an established bedtime, then moving it back as they get older. This helps them understand that age brings freedom, but not all at once, because freedom brings responsibility and they’re not as ready to handle it as they think.
Don’t try to be your child’s best friend, or look to them to meet your emotional needs. Their shoulders aren’t broad enough to carry that load. Be confident in God, and in who you are. Seek outside encouragement from healthy sources. In short, strive to become the firm, gentle parent your child deserves.
Written in Love,