“Mom, will you play with me?” “Watch this, mom!” “Mom, let me show you THIS!”
These are a few phrases on repeat in my house all. day. long. Our 5 year old son is passionate about life, and shares his zest for dirt and “work guys” with anyone within ear shot.
However, what he loves most is the full, undivided attention of an adult willing to watch his every move.
Honestly, I’m not always able to drop everything and rush to see him play with the same toys he showed me five minutes earlier. Truthfully, his constant need to be the center of attention sometimes grates on my already worn-thin mom nerves.
Doesn’t he know that dinner needs to be cooked and laundry needs to be done?
But God gently reminded me of the Bible story of Mary and Martha. The two sisters had different priorities in their lives.
Instead of being a Mary, the sister who soaked in the presence of the Lord and put her relationships before work, I was a Martha. Also like Martha, I tend to put priorities and responsibilities above those I love most. (Luke 10: 38-42)
I was suddenly humbled and convicted that I was putting chores above my son, thus resulting in my own irritation. These moments of him begging for my attention are fleeting, He won’t always want me to share in his playing and to drop everything to be with him.
Recognizing that I needed to change my attitude towards his need for attention, I began to intentionally build into his life with more quality time. Giving myself heaps of grace, I began to allow myself to play more instead of being so focused on my to do list.
The #1 Way to Connect with Your Child
Plan time quality time each day
Parents, if we’re not careful, their childhood will pass before our eyes.
This precious time to talk and teach children about life, faith, and family doesn’t have to be elaborate. Focus solely on your child for small pockets of time each day. Start with 10 minutes at a time and use a timer to set the boundary.
While it may mean the dishes will have to go untouched for a few minutes, the time spent investing in your child is priceless. (I’m learning this lesson first hand, too!)
Plan parent-child dates
Going on parent-child dates is a fabulous way to spend quality time with children and sets a lifelong standard of trust, importance, and openness.
Do you need some ideas on how to connect with your family? Here’s some practical and easy ideas to help you plan for special time with your children.
Resources for family fun
A Year of Parent-Child Dates- Let’s Explore
20 Awesome Date Night Ideas with Kids- Simply Kierste
Family Conversation Cards- Faith Along the Way
The Best Parent & Child Date Night Ideas- Beauty Through Imperfection
20 FUN Family Games & Activities- Faith Along the Way