2 1/2 years ago, my husband and I decided that we would be homeschooling our two boys. It was, and still it, the right decision for our family. Since I stay home with our boys, you would think that I have oodles and oodles of quality time with them. After homeschooling them, housework, meals, and work for the church, it doesn’t leave much time to just be with them.
It’s sad, but I actually have to make a conscience effort to not let my “to do” list get in the way of quality time with them. We are around each other all day, every day. But are we really spending quality time together?
Now, you might answer, “Well, you’re homeschooling them, so isn’t that quality time?” Yes, it is. But my children deserve to have quality time with their mom outside of homeschooling. That’s when bonds are made and relationships grow. Those are the times they will remember in the future. They’re not going to remember that really cool lesson on reducing fractions or what color an apple is. What I want them to remember is that their mom wasn’t too busy to spend time with them.
Don’t get me wrong. Children need to understand that it takes hard work to run a household and I am fully in favor of them helping throughout the day in order to help the family. As it says in 2 Thessalonians 3:10, “For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.” That is a rule around our house. Our children know, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” Not that we actually take their food from them, but you get the point. They are a part of this family and we expect them to help.
This doesn’t mean that they should be working all day long, though. They should have some down time. Mom, and Dad, should be a part of that down time sometimes. Quality time with our kids is so important. There are so many things that you can do with your kids that don’t cost a lot of money, either.
* picnic lunch
* play their favorite video game with them
* learn a new skill together
* board/card games
* read the Bible
* read a book
* draw a picture
* make something for someone
* have them teach you something
The list could go on and on. The things that I do with my boys will look completely different than what you do with your children. It doesn’t really matter what you are doing, just that you are together. Find something that interests them and do it.
Spending quality time doesn’t mean you have to drop everything else in order to it. As I said earlier, it takes a lot of work to run a household. Why not use that time to spend quality time together? I’m not saying that you should abandon the laundry to play a game. While you’re folding the laundry, talk to them about their thoughts and dreams, ask them what their favorite Bible story is and why, or just let them talk about whatever is on their mind. I remember, as a kid, going shopping with my mom, dad, and sister. My sister and mom liked shopping, while it really wasn’t I would have chosen to do. I remember my dad and I just sitting their talking, while my sister and mom went about with their shopping. My sister and mom were having some quality time, but at the same time, my dad and I were also. That was so meaningful to me that my dad would sit and listen to what I had to say.
Our kids are home for such a short amount of time. Let’s use that time wisely and make sure that we are spending quality time with our kids.