Do you ever look at your kids and wish they weren’t growing up so incredibly fast? I do. I have days when I wish the fighting and busyness would end, but more often I find myself counting down how many years I have left before they leave home. I’m realizing how little time there is before my oldest graduates high school. I see pictures of when she was only a couple years old or when she was in kindergarten and can’t believe how fast time has gone by. And, in a sense, in makes me sad.
But rather than sit and give you a sob story I want to encourage you to make the most of the time you (and I) get with our kids. I want to share with you the ways I spend time with my kids and make the most of the few short years God has given me with them at home.
One way I have found to really connect with my daughter the past couple years is through Girl Scouts. She was in another troop for awhile and then I made a scheduling mistake and didn’t have a way to get her to scouts. Shortly after that there was a need for a troop leader of girls my daughter’s age, so I stepped up and it was one of the best decisions I could have made. I love leading a troop and enjoy the moments I get to share with my daughter. I cherish the memories we have made and what being a leader had done in my life, her life, and every girl in my troop. So the first way I get to spend time with her is through scouts, and now my son is embarking on that adventure with his dad at his side.
Yes, I used the plural on that. Sports. When my daughter was really young my husband and I coached her T-ball team. After that we stepped back from coaching because of time, the age of her brother, and a lack of need for a coach on her team at that time. Ever since we have sat on the sideline cheering her and her brother on, until last fall. A call for help in coaching soccer. So I turned to my husband and asked if he wanted to, asked my daughter (who jumped for joy), and sent the response back that we would coach. This time, however, we were walking down the road of coaching for two teams. We couldn’t coach one child and not the other as it would seem like we were playing favorites.
So we are coaching both kids soccer teams. And beginning this spring we have agreed to coach softball too. Do I love the “busyness”? No! But I do love that time spent coaching and guiding them. I love watching their teams succeed on the field. So, although it makes life a little crazier, I love coaching them.
These shouldn’t be reserved just for your spouse. Yes you need to have frequent, regular dates with your husband, but the occasional date with you kid is very special to them. To have the time where you spend time just the 2 of you is amazing. It doesn’t have to be super fancy or expensive. A simple dinner date to a place they choose, a soccer game in the backyard, or a fishing trip would all be things you could go do for a date. But it will draw you and them closer together in the end.
Family nights are huge for me. I love spending time with my husband but I also love getting to do things with my kids too. So to do them together is even better. We spend time together connecting by camping, target shooting, playing games such as Splendor, watching movies, and more. If you don’t have a regular time to unwind and just enjoy your family you should. It will draw you closer to your kids and draw you in as a family unit.
Just Plain Playing
What kid doesn’t like to play? It is in their nature to want to play and run and just have fun. So what better way would there be than to just play. Run, climb, play tag, any of these things. Not too long ago we had a beautiful spring day and my kids asked to play kickball. So my husband and I obliged. It was a lot of fun. We played guys against girls and had a blast. I love just kicking the soccer ball around with my daughter. Even video games can be OK. Last year before my son began kindergarten I would ask him what he wanted to do and many days he would answer with “play Minecraft!” And that’s what we did. We would spend most of the day playing Minecraft. Just creating and building.
Playing makes you feel young. Feel like a kid without all the adult worries that come with life. More people should try a little more playing in their lives. It will not only make you feel younger but will also connect you to the heart of your kids.
Connect with your kids
It’s important to connect with your kids. When they are born you think of how you have 18 years with them. But in the blink of an eye they move from baby to toddler to kid to teen and then they move out and start their own adventure. I love connecting with my kids and I hope these words give you ideas and inspiration to find ways to connect with your own kids. You will only regret the time you don’t spend with them, not the times you do. Share with me what you do to spend time with your kids.