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Making Time

October 18, 2010

As the mom to three children, I often struggle to find time for one on one time with each of my kids. I want each one of them to know that they are loved and valued. I want to build confidence into how God has uniquely created them. The November 2010 issue of Disney Family Fun Magazine offers some great tips from parents on how carve out time for each child. In their magazine, they suggest trying some of the following strategies:

  • Two Twofer Tuesdays — Every Tuesday, this family divides and conquers! One parent and one child spend time doing an activity that the child chooses. The other parent is also spending time with another child. The next week, they switch. This is great for parents of two children. If you have more, the child not spending time with mom or dad can spend time doing something special such as playing on the computer, watching a special show or playing with a friend.
  • Bedtime Bonus — Another family, with five children, had a great solution for making special time for each child. Each night of the week, one child got to stay up 15 minutes past their bedtime. They get to choose with whom they want to spend the time with, either mom or dad. The other parent is responsible for putting the other children to bed! Brilliant! They spend time talking, playing a game, reading or even packing lunches for the next day.
  • Time Cards — In this family, also with five children, each child has a Special Time with Dad card, which is basically an index card. This card allows the child 10-15 minutes of undivided attention from Dad. To redeem, each child can use it weekly by giving the card to Dad. They spend the time, playing a game, working a puzzle or even running an errand. This gives the child the ability to request special time when they need it!

I think these are great, easy ways to incorporate special one on one time with each child. Here are some other suggestions:

  • Daddy Dates —Once a month, Dad can take one child on a special date. This can be to get ice cream, out to eat or even to the park. What is important is to show your child a special time!
  • Kitchen Duty —Have one child help you in the kitchen while cooking dinner. This allows you to spend time together making dinner for your family and having the chance to talk to your child about their day.
  • Breakfast Buddy — Take your child to eat breakfast before school for a special way to start the day. Mom or Dad can take one child to eat breakfast while the other parent takes care of the other children.

It truly isn’t about QUALITY time with our children. What matters to them, is QUANTITY time. How are you investing in each of your children? Let us know how you make an effort to spend time with each child!

Raising World Changers

October 13, 2010

Teaching children about putting others first and serving others is not something that we can just do with our words, it is something we must show by our actions. For our children to be world changers, we need to teach them to think beyond themselves and their corner of the world. In her article, Serving as a Family, Grace Fox writes that we must “teach our kids to think beyond themselves and their own needs.”  She offers some great ideas that she found just by looking around her. Some suggestions she offers are to house missionaries who are home on furlough, deliver meals to a pregnant friend on bedrest, or provide transportation to kids who need a ride to church.

Here are a few other suggestions from Family Muscle for incorporating service into your home:

  • Sponsor a child through Compassion International and write letters to your sponsored child as a family.
  • Visit nursing homes during the holidays and take cards.
  • Make a dessert and deliver it to your neighbors.
  • Pray for countries around the world and for missionaries serving in those areas. Two great Web sites are Operation World and the Joshua Project.
  • Pay for the person’s meal at the drive in who is behind you in line.
  • Go on mission trips as a family.

Service is a lifestyle, not an event or a one time activity. When you practice service as a family, those qualities become a natural response in your children.

What are ways you serve others in your family?

Serving as a Family, first appeared in the April, 2005 issue of Discovery Years. Copyright © 2005, Grace Fox. All rights reserved.