Recently, I read an article about a dad that spends $440 on his cable bill to make sure he spends quality time with his kids. He had good intentions, but I’m pretty sure that poor guy missed the mark. It was like a hunter with a clear shot of a deer and shot his own foot. Good try.
Sadly, there are times when my intentions may be good to spend time with my kids, but I miss the mark. My kids are all preschool age and under, and I constantly hear from parents of older kids, “They grow up so fast”. I don’t want to let time just fly by, and not try my very best to build memories, impact my kids with my time, and allow my kids to feel like they are treasured by their dad.
This list is not exhaustive by any means, but here are 3 ways I want to do, to treasure my kids:
The B-I-B-L-E. Each night, we gather in one of their rooms and we read the Bible together. We are currently reading through The Jesus Storybook Bible. This book is fantastic. It points each story back to Jesus, something I always want to do with my kids, is point them to the Savior. Sure, there are times when giggles overcome the story (like one time when I read the name Nebuchadnezzar, and my kids couldn’t stop laughing for a solid 10 minutes), and there will be times when you have to encourage them to pay attention, but it is all worth it. I love getting them involved, asking questions, doing motions to the story…I have the opportunity to make their daily Bible reading fun, and I try to take full advantage.
Out of Cell Phone Range. One of the biggest daggers that I have received thus far in my parenting career is when my oldest daughter said “I wish Daddy would put his cell phone down and watch what I am doing”. I didn’t hear her, but my wife did and pointed it out to me. Ouch! That one stung for a while. So, when I come home from work, or if I am playing with the kids, I try (notice I said try) to not have my cell phone in my pocket. Dinner table, playing outside, vacation…these are times when the cell phone needs to be “out of range”. This all may sound silly to some of you, but whatever may cause you distraction, remove it, and give your attention to your kids. Whether it is a phone, the TV, computer, or work-related papers/items…push them to the side for your kids.
Daddy (Mommy) Dates. My oldest calls just going to pick up something at the store a “Daddy date”. And I love that. I love spending one-on-one time with my kids, and I hope I can sustain this special time as they grow older. I know it will get harder and will take a larger commitment, but it is something that shows each child they are treasured and valued. This is opportunity for purposeful and important conversations to happen, and it also just time to get to know each other and show them love. I’m looking forward to many dates in the years ahead…with me, not with boys. Yeah, I’m fine with them being preschool age forever =)
These are just a few ways that I treasure my kids. What do you do with your kids to treasure them? I’d love to hear and learn from you!