Time is a parent’s most precious gift
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be exhausting and stressful to say the least, especially as folks are dashing around trying to find that perfect gift for their loved ones.
My daughter recently came home with a report from school that caught my interest. It’s something that made me stop dead in my tracks and really think about what’s important in life.
The report suggests that time is a parent’s most precious gift for their children. Give a gift of time and attention. What’s perhaps the greatest benefit is that it doesn’t cost a penny, nickel, dime, quarter or even a dollar.
In today’s fast-paced crazy world, where kids struggle to get some time with their parents, nothing is more dear and precious to a child as a parent’s time and undivided attention. This is especially true during the holidays.
Sadly, we live in a society today where parents spend much less time with children than they once did. I’m sure our dependence and overindulgence of electronic toys that seem to connect us to everything except going to the bathroom doesn’t help matters.
A study published in Family Circle magazine notes that while mothers in 1959 reported playing with their children about 275 hours a year, or 23 hours a month, by 1983 the time had evaporated to only 75 hours a year— or about six hours a month. Wow, if that doesn’t make a statement.
School principals believe that this lack of adult interaction takes a toll on a child’s school performance.
There are so many factors causing children to perform poorly in school these days that they don’t need help from adults in adding to the chaos.
As you’re searching for a last minute gift, consider giving the gift of time. It’s an ideal gift for children from parents, grandparents and any other adult. It is certainly a flexible gift suitable for any age, schedule and budget.
In fact, maybe you’ll want to tuck an “IOU an Outing” card or letter with your child’s holiday gifts.
I have a few ideas to help fulfill your IOU. Try a family game night where age-appropriate game can be played together. Even if it’s only a simple card game, children cherish the opportunity to compete against their parents, siblings and other family members. Our family tries to do these game nights at least once a month during the winter months.
For those who are music lovers, check out a concert or dinner theater offering. Kids will like heading to a high school band or church choir concert. A few weeks ago I took my daughter to a Christmas concert, and she was ecstatic with the time we spent listening to many songs of the season.
Reading is also something that is easy enough to work into a daily routine. Have your children pick out a book and cuddle up as you read to each other. Such an activity also helps encourage reading for those who struggle with it.
The kitchen can also be a great source of fun and entertainment for the family. Baking and cooking are fun activities for any age. Kids especially love to put their hands to use creating something from
a recipe. Earlier this month, my daughter spent several hours in the kitchen with me making homemade Christmas cookies and candy.
The opportunities are endless for what can be done with kids. The gift of time can be given all year long. It is one of the most precious
contributions you can make into the life of your child.
It’s time for parents, grandparents and others to go in hot pursuit of giving the gift of time this holiday season and the rest of the year. And, by the way, Merry Christmas!