Eighteen years. That’s 6570 days. Six thousand five hundred seventy days to pour into, shape, and raise our children to be responsible, moral, and productive members of our communities. Have you ever stopped to think of all the things we need to teach our kids so that they are prepared for the future? Walking and potty training are just the tips of the iceberg! These little humans need to be able to read, write, think critically and learn to drive a car before they leave our homes. If that’s not enough to pile on parents, we are also charged with ensuring they feel loved, seen, heard, and valued. We want them to grow up to make good choices and resist peer pressure. We want them to be the kid that stands up for what is right. That's a lot to shoulder!
When our children are babies and toddlers, we are their whole world and their only influence. But by the time they reach their teen years, they tend to spend more time at activities like sports, clubs, and hanging with friends, and less time at home with the family. That makes the time we spend with them all the more important and valuable. How we spend those hours matters. How they spend theirs matters, too.
Are you present when your kids are around? I’m not talking about just being at home. I’m talking about being present, in the moment, having quality conversations and interactions with your child. Because just being in the same house and being intentional about building relationships with your children are two totally different things.
"If you aren’t investing in the lives of your children, someone else is."
I’m not suggesting that you spend every waking moment with your child. They need time to themselves as do we. We all need to pursue our own interests and build our own relationships. What I’m suggesting is making the most of every precious minute you have with your child. Because as hard as it is to think about, the days you get to spend with your child, having influence over them, are numbered.
I promise you, if you aren’t investing in the lives of your children, someone else is. Spend your 6570 days wisely, intentionally. Sure, it takes time and effort. No, it is not always easy. Your kids may complain. They may resist. But you are their greatest influence and if you want them to follow in your footsteps (or follow a different path because you didn’t get it quite right) then you need to be the one to train them in the way they need to go.
How will you spend the next 365?