The words in this quote have been playing on my mind a lot lately and many conversations, situations and 'challenges' have been steering me in this direction. Time really is so much more valuable to a child than anything bought with money (the discarded toys 2 weeks after Christmas, are a great example of that!) All children thrive on quality time with their parent, without exception - it makes them feel special, wanted and loved. I know it's not rocket science, you might even say it's obvious but sadly, if your family life is anything like ours, sometimes demands, chores, commitments and so on, all rob you of TIME to spend with your children.
My girls are both heading rapidly towards the teenage years (one flying headlong rather faster than I might like!) and friends are becoming a greater influence than their boring mum and dad! I have recently been reminded that individual time is vital for my children's well-being and for our relationship as they mature.
Last weekend, Tween 2 and I spent a much-needed day together. The agenda of the day was her choice, so she opted for spending pocket money, lunch in Nandos and a mooch around the shops. Although buying clothes wasn't particularly in the plan, a few small purchases were made (we are girls after all!) but the best thing about the day was having time and space together, not rushing but just relaxing in one another's company. It gave us the opportunity to remember all of the things we love about each other, the bits that so often get forgotten in a family of 5.
Of course a whole day isn't always practical, especially if you're a single parent, but just 15-20 minutes spent with your child at the end of a busy day, would work. In our world, even that is sometimes tricky, what with after-school clubs, homework and tea but I am trying to factor this into our day and it is lovely to observe our otherwise 'private' girls opening up and sharing things that are going on in their world.
Do you manage to get quality time with your children? Have you got any suggestions of things that have worked for you?
I am linking this post up with Emma at Crazy with Twin's Wednesday Words linky.