All too often, we don’t realize that we’ve missed some of life’s most important things until they’re gone, and we’re looking back with regret through the rearview mirror. I know it’s no one’s goal to intentionally miss a childhood, but if you were trying, here’s some really easy ways that you could make it happen:
1. Pick up the phone every time you hear it ring or ding, regardless of what you are doing with your family. Mealtimes when you are sitting down at the dinner table are the best. Always make sure to have your phone on you 24/7, within arms reach.
2. Choose to watch your favorite tv show over playing outside with your kids. Make sure to demand that they stay outside unsupervised during the show so that you can watch it without interruption. Years from now, it will be important to know who won that round of the reality show, or how that suspenseful episode ended.
3. If overtime at work is available, always take it. Your wife and kids will understand why you’re never home at night is because you want to be able to afford to give them bigger and better things. Besides, they love those things more than they love you anyway, so make getting those things your #1 priority.
4. When you’ve got a free night or a little free cash, make sure to set up a party night with your friends. In fact, do this as many nights of the week as possible. Even though your kids may not see you all day, they’ll certainly be okay staying at home playing video games and watching moves since there’s so many good ones out there nowadays.
5. Save up lots of money to buy the most expensive house, car, or things that you can. Better yet, buy it all before you have the money so that you can work your tail off trying to pay for it all while your kids are still young and living at home. Don’t spend large amounts of money on family vacations, because that will just build memories that will be forgotten, but the size of house you live in and the price of the car you drive is what your kids will really remember for years to come.
6. Involve your kids in every single activity you can possibly find for them to be involved in. In fact, the more the better. You want to fill up as many nights of your week as possible with sports practices and other activities, so that you don’t have to spend anytime being bored at home with nothing to do. Allow these activities to keep you away from home and church as much as possible. The last thing you want to do as a parent is deprive your child of the memories on the field or their chance to someday make it to the pros.
7. Every time your child wants to ask you something or have your attention, make sure that you always have a good reason for making them wait. Because they need to learn respect by understanding that what you are doing in the moment is always more important than they are. You will give them your time as soon as you finish writing that text, or watching that show, or checking that thing off your to-do list. Our kids need to understand how busy we adults are, and how we don’t have time for their petty childish things.
Well, let’s admit it, as parents we’ve all got some work to do, myself included. None of us are trying to miss a childhood, yet why is it that many parents one day find themselves having unintentionally accomplished it? Determine today by your actions that you will not be one of those parents.
Never forget, it really is easy to miss a childhood, because all you have to do is fail to be intentional and the rest happens all on it’s own. What will you do differently today to make sure you aren’t found guilty of missing a childhood?