Be the Dad 2. Time = Love, Be the Time Spent Dad
One of the best ways of communicating love is giving your time. Time that is spent together where you are engaged, giving 100% of your focus and not distracted. Your undivided attention. I believe that everyone has this as one of the ways that they feel love*. Especially kids.
I want to share with you about why Time is your greatest gift and also 6 easy and great practical keys for how to have your kids feel loved through spending time together that you both are going to enjoy!
What do Kids want most?
A video study was conducted a couple of years ago when kids were asked what it is that they want most. Surely the answers would be: Lego, a pony, to go to Disneyland? The overwhelming reply was more time with Mum and Dad! This is the most valued currency of kids.
When you spend time with your kids, they are getting the most precious gift you can give. More valuable than money, holidays, toys, TV, they are getting YOU. You are their role model. You are their safe place. You define how they fit into the world. The way you think about them is how they will learn to think about themselves. The way that they will get these messages is through time spent. ‘Wow you are really good at that’, ‘You are funny’.
But, I don’t have any time...
Fair comment, that may be what it feels like, but we all have 24 hours in a day. It comes down to what is a priority. Time is our most valuable resource and our kids are our most valuable investment.
Quality time doesn’t necessarily mean a long time. But it does mean time that you are engaged, not distracted. Put your phone away, not in your pocket, away! Schedule a time and give your child 10 mins or more.
Watch their faces light up, their hearts swell and their personalities come alive as they realise ‘in this moment, I am the most important thing in my superhero Dad’s life’
Set yourself an achievable time goal everyday. Start small like 5 - 10 minutes and let it grow from there. A little everyday over time is better than big random chunks rarely.
6 great ways to spend quality time together:
Tucking them in at night - Giving them a cuddle and a kiss, telling them how much you love them and what you believe about them - You are a great leader, have an excellent imagination, Mum and I love you very much...
Playing together -
Imaginative play. Let them lead the play, they come up with the ideas and you look to see how you can join in. Get your imagination involved. If you feel like you lack imagination differ to Pirate, Spaceman, Policeman or Robber :)
Sports and outdoors activities. What is their favourite sport or physical activity? Have a go at this with them, it doesn’t matter if you are good or bad or just watching.
Reading books - grab a book that they love or that you love and snuggle up with them and read! Have fun with the voices, ask them questions like ‘what would you have done in that moment?’
Listening - Hey, what was the favourite thing that happened to you today? What was the Worst thing that happened? If you could go anywhere where would it be and why? If you could be anyone, who would it be?
Their answers will give you huge insight into their lives.
Helping them - homework, tidying, a project they are working on. You will have some of the greatest conversations with your kids doing the dishes together!
Having breakfast and or Tea with them - sit down and eat together, this is a great opportunity to have time with all of your family at once.
If you have any other great ways to spend quality time, let me know!!
Go for it guys, invest your most precious asset, your time, into the best investment you have, your family. Be the ‘time spent’ Dad
* See Chapter 11 for more about the five love languages. There is an amazing book entitled this that shows you how to find the key ways in which people feel loved.