Not sure how we got here, but in our world being “busy” has become a badge of honor. We are busy people. We have a lot going on. And for some strange reason we get a sense of importance from our frantic lives. The busier we are, the more important we feel.
It’s not just the adults that are busy. Many kids today are just as busy. My greatest fear as a young parent watching parents in the stages ahead of me, is becoming nothing more than a taxi cab! As if my only role in life is carting them around to school, sports, friends, and wherever else they think they need to go.
As we come to the end of summer and gear up for the busyness of the fall, I wanted to share something that I’ve found very helpful. It’s a chart from the book, Think Orange: Imagine the Impact When Church and Family Collide…. Basically, it gives you a way to think thru your crazy day and see (maybe in ways you’ve never thought about before) that you have so many opportunities to come alongside your son or daughter and influence, love, shape, and nurture.
Meal time, drive time, bed time, morning time are all great opportunities to parent and influence your child. Times that are a part of everyday, but maybe haven’t been seen as an option for meaningful moments. How does thinking about each part of the day having certain roles and goals change the way you approach your day?
Going back to my greatest fear, if I follow the ideas here, drive time now because a time to covet and cherish. Drive time now becomes an opportunity to debrief the day and discuss life together. Drive time is now a moment, in the midst of the chaos that is our lives, where my daughters are stuck with me and have no where to go! (Of course, today we battle the constant connection to the screen, so it’s not quite the captive audience we desire, but nonetheless…you’re in the same space together!)
SIDENOTE: I wrote about an idea for redeeming the dreaded carpool that fits with this here: http://www.parentingthoughts.com/2014/06/youre-a-better-youth-pastor-than-i-am/
I’ve heard many parents express a desire to have more influence in their kid’s life. When asked why they think they don’t, there is a host of reasons, but time is usually in the mix. That’s why I love this chart! It helps put certain times that can be easily overlooked into perspective. It helps us think through how we can still find places to influence and parent in the middle of our shuffling around. It reminds us to slow down and be intentional. It might even encourage you to try to create some new habits with your kids so you have the times listed above (Anyone getting their kids to sit at the table with them for dinner these days?)
Have you ever thought about your day this way?
How can you take one of these ideas and implement into your routine today?
Which role of the of four listed above do you most often play? Which do you neglect?
Summer is almost over and the school year is upon us. I hope this is a practical tool that you can use to be the parent you want to be to your kids!
I would love to hear your thoughts!