On the subject of kids and 'time-spent'...The pastor at the church I attend had this to say (As transcriped from the cover of last sunday's bulletin). He nailed it. _______________________________ Have you heard this somewhere before: I dont have a lot of time to give my kids, but I make up for it by giving quality time? Maybe youve even been tempted to buy into the idea. Before the idea takes root, allow me to debunk the quality time myth. This myth says that you can give your children most of what they need if you make judicious use of quality time. That is, you take the fifteen minutes here, and the forty-five minutes there, and plan such times so well that they accomplish a great deal more than they might do otherwise. There are several problems with this myth. For one, kids dont cooperate! The hour you mapped out for a quality conversation may just be the time when your child feels like claming up. Teenagers, for example, may take an hour just to lower their defenses long enough to have a meaningful conversation. In order for anything approaching quality to occur with our children, quantity is needed. Its like panning for gold. If enough dirt is panned, eventually you see the precious flecks of gold appear. As a parent, I must assume that Ill have to spend a lot of time with my child before the gold appears. Nobody ever hit it rich on quality time. Second, its good to remember that your kids need relationship, not just input. In talking to his spiritual children, Paul says that he shared not only the Gospel, but his life as well. Its an apt description of the parenting task. Your child needs you to share your life with him. He needs the comfort of a routine, a consistent connection with Mom and Dad. That takes time. One of the last things my son did in Kindergarten was to make a wall plaque for me as a Fathers Day gift. On the plague was a stick figure of me with this sentence displayed in the fledgling handwriting of a six-year old: I love my Father because he teaches me how to throw a Frisbee. Jon presented his handiwork with a beaming smile and a warm hug. His plaque reminded me that a good relationship with my children is a conglomeration of many experiences in which I take the opportunity to share my life with them. My son happened to remember the Frisbee because it was current; but, if such experiences were the rare occurrence reserved for quality time, it would have quickly faded from memory. What my son was really saying was this: I love my Dad because he spends time with me. Like most parents, you have schedules to keep and deadlines to meet. Youre busy. Let these few words be a brief reminder about what our kids need most our time. - Pastor Art.