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Parenting Time Guidelines: What Do You Value?

Okay, here’s a short exercise…pull out a scratch piece of paper and pencil. Now, jot down what your major priorities were for this past week; then indicate how much time you devoted to them (i.e., percentage¬† of 100).

Did family or children make the list? If so, how much time was intentionally devoted to them? If they were not on the list, why not?

In our go-go-go/do-do-do society we should always be concerned about whether we have learned to compartmentalize our families so well that we no longer consider our time or interaction with them a priority or meaningful task.

If you found that time specifically devoted to your family was not really a priority, but rather the usual “leftovers,” you are not alone. Many parents, especially fathers, wrestle with this balance. The first step to recapturing family as a priority you already accomplished at the beginning of this post – stopping and making a self-assessment.

The second is to realize this: quantity of time does not necessarily equal “quality” time.

Have you ever been in the presence of someone whose attention you wanted, only to feel as if they didn’t know you were there – they were distracted by this, that, or the other? Then you understand how absent our presence can feel to someone right next to us. But don’t misunderstand me, quality time does require a certain quantity of your time – just don’t assume the first is accomplished by the second.

The fact of the matter is that our children need both. But quality time, like all things important, requires prioritizing that time. So, pencil it in etch it in stone!

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Jesus (Matthew 6:21/Luke 12:34)

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