Wow have things changed in the last week, we all know this. For me, I am no longer working 50 hours a week. I am no longer coaching basketball or softball. I am no longer playing taxi driver for my children, I am no longer watching my son in track, I am no longer watching March Madness, following the first place Milwaukee Bucks, or spring training for the Milwaukee Brewers.
I have in this past week discovered and observed some things. I have discovered I have a family. I have discovered the lady who lives in my house is my wife. I like her, she seems nice. On my drive back and forth from school, I have observed whole families walking in the park, walking on the sidewalks, biking together, just being outside whenever they can. Through observations and discovery there is now time. We have the time to be a family.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
Take time eat together and listen to each other: Communication and unity built during this setting is integral. Sharing a meal together allows the opportunity to talk about each other’s lives. This is a time for parents to listen, as well as to give advice and encouragement. Attentive listening conveys a message that a person is really interested in another. It also imparts a sense of worth and helps develop trust.
Read often. It is important for parents to read to their children. The latest research indicates that reading to your children cultivates an interest for knowledge and stimulates language development. It also increases their attention spans and helps them become more curious. Look for books that your child would enjoy reading. After reading, ask questions about the content.
Do chores together. Part of what goes on in the home is the development of teamwork. Family life depends on the contribution of everyone. Assigning chores is the most productive way of teaching responsibility and accountability to your children. Doing chores with your child will help foster good communication skills, plus it will be a good way for the parent to ease their workload.
Help with schoolwork. This can be a great way to spend quality time with children. A parent’s eagerness to help can cause a child to become more interested in school. Helping should begin with an understanding that children are responsible for homework. Parents are there to help their child get organized and to encourage them when they get stuck. The only request during remote learning is that a parent does not suspend or expel their child for conduct unbecoming.
Start a hobby or project together. Choose a fun activity that your child is interested in. Activities like cooking, crafts, fishing or biking will make great hobbies that can open the door to exciting family time. Once a child learns a new recipe or is able to cast a lure accurately, let them take the lead with your supervision.
Play games together. Find creative ways to spark an interest in family-oriented contests such as board games or card games. This will give parents additional time to talk and nurture their relationship.
Have family outside activities. Sometimes getting out of the house is important. Hop in the family car and go for a drive. Take time to play catch or ride a bike. Take stroll in the woods or around the neighborhood. It is vital for children to exercise.
Pray together, have devotion time together, watch a church service together. Nothing is more special than taking a few minutes each day to pray with a child. Watching a church service will continue to have children hear the wonderful message of God’s saving grace.
We now are with our families, and we have discovered we have time. We get to discover more about each other. To discover what is meaningful in their lives. To go for a walk together, to play an activity, to bake, clean, provide homework support. To eat, pray, watch services together. We now have the time, let us use that time together as a family.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Ephesians 5:15-17.