All parents want to give their children the world. They want to make sure that everything available is there for their children to make them happier, smarter, well liked, etc.. All of that is very noble and understandable.
What sometimes we forget, as parents, is that although the things we give our children are important, the most important thing we should be giving them is our time. In our fast paced world of expectations coming from everywhere, time has become even more precious and yet our children need it more. They need to to just “be” with us – playing games, coloring, playing in the mud, just being present with them as they go about their days. Believe it or not, even teenagers crave to have some time with us even as they are pushing us away.
When my husband first started starting working, a good friend of his told him something that he never forgot. His friend told him that although he was very successful what he regretted the most was that he did not spend enough time with his children. My husband took that to heart and throughout his career he always kept that in mind when making choices about jobs. He turned down promotions because of the extra work time involved and he even quit his job traveling internationally because he was away from home so often. Sometimes he took a cut in pay and although his career advanced he never reached his full potential in the work force. But..he more than made up for that in his “job” as a dad. He was able to be around when the girls were growing up and he spent a lot of time with them: Taking them shopping with him, playing airplane, serving them breakfast at Joe’s diner. I even have a picture of him dressed in a prom dress with a hat on – now that shows dedication! He also coached soccer and softball teams and if he was not coaching he was at mostly all of their games. He was there for ballet recitals, school activities, and girl scout trips. He was there when they needed his advice, he was there to give them a hug when they tried to push him away. he was there when they cried and he was their to help them celebrate their triumphs. He was just “there” and he has no regrets.
So…think about what you want for children. Think about what memories you want them to have. Think about how much fun they are and how fast they will grow up. Then don’t worry about giving them “things” – instead spend as much time with them as you possibly can.
Have some fun today