Effective Family Time
When I come in from work, my son (I call him Bud) is always standing at the top of the stairs, peeking over the toddler gate, yelling, "Da! Da!" It makes my day. I go up the stairs, and we share a Pop Ice. That makes his day.
The last couple of weeks have been rough on the little guy. First, Daddy got a new job. I had been out of work for a few months, so he got real used to having me home all the time. Not so anymore. Then, not one week after that change starts, Mommy and Daddy bring home a new baby from the hospital. Yeah, his world is officially rocked.
Bud needs me a lot right now. Knowing I still love him is very important. What he needs in this time of change is stability. So, I make sure that we do some of the same things that we did before I got the job. We go out to the garden and check for ripe tomatoes and cucumbers. He also goes over to the fence and picks up all the apples that fell off the neighbor's tree into our yard. Watching him walk back to me, proudly carrying a single apple in his small hands, makes me want to hug him tight. Gardening, it's "man time" as we call it.
As our family grows, the need for together time has increased for all of us. It helps us stay connected so that we aren't just people living in the same house.
However, as our family has grown, it has become harder to have that time. Used to, my wife and I could just drop whatever if we needed some family time. That's not the way it is anymore. As parents, we have responsibilities to two adorable, little boys. One of them is less than 2 weeks old, but we can already see how things are changing around the house. The changes will increase as he needs more than a bottle every few hours and holding throughout the day. As the boys grow and become involved in more activities with friends, that window for family time will shrink even more.
When you have your family time, communication is paramount. You don't want to just sit around and watch a movie together. That can be part of it, but effective family time means communicating. You need to talk about your hopes and dreams, your goals and plans. The family is in it together, and, most of all, you need to talk about where God is leading you.
Not every family time needs to be a deep, soul searching experience. You should have fun times, too. You might all like to play a game together or listen to a CD by a fabulous band. The family members should all be involved in what the time entails. Not that every member has veto power, but each selects something for one of the times.
Consistency also ranks highly in an effective family time. If you plan it, you are more likely to do it. And if you have it scheduled at the same time, it's harder to let other things push it out of the way.
Your family is your most important asset. Invest your time in them and watch the dividends grow.
- Do You Know What Your Kids Are Watching?
- Anytime, Anywhere, Anyone
- Rites of Passage for Your Son
- Draw Your Children Into the Bible
- Fathers who interact with children plant life-changing seeds
- Work and Family: The Ongoing Tug-Of-War
- Discipline: A Pendulum Swing
- Building Relationships with Your Stepchildren.
- Fatherhood isn't for Sissies