We live in a busy world. Here is a little glimpse into my world: wake up at 6, make breakfast for the 4 kids and myself, get dressed and ready for work, take the kids to school, work all day, come home, cook dinner, help homework, get kids to bed, do my second job teaching online, and then go to bed to start all over again. Of course, there can be other things going on in a day- I might have a parent/teacher conference or coach cheerleading or have a game to go to. But you get the picture. Very busy lives!
We can get so busy as parents, in fact, that we can miss the little moments.
So in our family, we celebrate Sabbath.
What does that mean? We go to church on Sunday and then the rest of the day is for reconnecting and relaxation.
I know you are busy. I am, too! Weekends usually mean grading, lesson planning, and test writing for me. For my kids, it means homework and sports. But we try to get that done by Saturday so that Sunday is our family day.
Oh, and another thing, our family day is rarely at home. This is intentional because I would work myself silly if I stayed home. But if we leave, then it forces me to focus on my family.
We usually go to the park or the beach, since it is free and close to where we live in South Florida. The point is not how much you spend on the outing, it is that you spend time together. We also have done museums or the zoo. We actually have a season pass to a museum and can use that to get free admission to other museums in the country. It is a great way to get to know where we live and explore new things. As you do things together, you feel closer as a family. And as you feel closer, your kids feel more comfortable coming to you with what it on their minds. Many deep conversations have come from our family outings. Find things that your family likes to do- and then just do it!
What if your life is so busy that you don’t have time for something like this? Well, then I would say that you are too busy. We should never, as parents, be too busy to spend time with our own kids. We are responsible for providing for them and training them. They shouldn’t be an after-thought. Remember, what you put in to your relationship with your kids IS WHAT YOU WILL GET BACK.
And this might be touchy, but might I suggest to churches: stop scheduling stuff on Sundays! Well, a Sunday morning service is OK. But why not encourage families to do stuff together that day? Pastors and staff, why not do something with your kids that day? Why do we feel the need to have small groups and other things going on that day? Why have youth group Sunday evening? Let families have time together.
So, homework for this week- plan something this next weekend. Or whatever day you have with your kids. Maybe it has to be a week day. It doesn’t matter what day it is. But make it special. Focus on your family. Talk. Spend time together with no agenda. (sorry moms, but taking the kids grocery shopping doesn’t count!) If some topic comes up that you don’t feel capable of handling, tell your kid that you will get back to him/her. It is ok if you don’t know everything. Don’t be in a hurry to go do something else. Let your kids see that you enjoy being with them! You are building your relationship with them! One tiny grain of sand at a time.