15 Minutes

Spending time with our children is one of those things we know is so vitally important and yet sometimes so difficult to achieve. Between work, school, sports, church groups, art clubs, it’s challenging to feel like you are having the quality time you like with your child.  And if you are the parent of more than one child, the difficulty level seems to increase exponentially.

In my life, I’ve noticed a couple of different opportunities to sneak in some special time with my kids without officially scheduling or planning ahead. Here are two examples from my life. Perhaps in reading you will see opportunities in your life as well.

Currently I volunteer at my 8-year-old daughter’s Girls Club at our church.  Filled with singing time, crafts and lessons, it’s been a great time to spend with my daughter and see her in a different setting from home.

As much fun as the actual meeting time has been, I’ve noticed that my favorite time of each meeting is the drive back and forth.  It’s just a 15 minute drive each way, but I feel like that is the time when my daughter has the best opportunity to ask questions, chat about her thoughts and I can give her my full attention without laundry, siblings, paperwork or meal prep getting in the way.

Questions range from relationships at school, to words she heard kids using on the bus, to Christmas wish list ideas, to thoughts about how many kids she’ll have some day, to questions about God and the universe. Some questions I am able to answer fully, some I can attempt and others we simply chat and daydream about.

Therefore in looking back, I’ve realized my better “quality time” has been in the 15 minute drive, not the 2-hour meeting.

In a different area of life, my 4-year-old son attends a preschool in the morning and then receives some speech group aid at a different school in the afternoon.  We have a total of about 20 minutes between the time he arrives home from preschool and gets on the bus for speech group.  During this time, my goal is to feed him lunch. His goal is to do a craft, play a game, cuddle and chat. Yikes!

This past week, I was able to plan ahead and have his lunch waiting for him the minute we walked in the door and had a game waiting on the kitchen table for us to play while he ate.  Unlike my 8-year-old’s need to chat and discuss life in her one-on-one time with me, my son was thrilled to have my full attention and play a game while snacking on his jelly sandwich.

Different kids, different needs, but it only took about 15-20 minutes to have a special moment with each of them. Our hope is that you and your children will figure out what your best “15 minutes” is for you and enjoy that time you have with each other!

 

 

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