The Power of Time

Every child needs time with his or her parents. Time = love to them. Sometimes I assume that homeschooling is equivalent to quality time spent with my kids. But one day my son asked, “Why are you so busy, mom?” 

“Busy? Me?!” I thought, No way! I give so much time to my kids, how could my son be asking this?

However I took his question to heart and started analyzing how engaged I am when I am with my kids. Sometimes when I am homeschooling, I am working on a project or an entry for my blog, or checking social media. It has become a bad habit. In fact, there are occasions when I feel like they are interrupting me while I try to kill ten birds with one stone during the same hours when I ought to be devoting my full attention to my kids.

Lately, I have tried to change this by being more disciplined about my homeschooling. Yet this isn’t enough. Each one of my kids desires special time with me (and Edric), which means I have to understand what they perceive as fun and engage in these activities with them. Whether it is story time, doing dancing with the Xbox 360, going to the grocery or bookstore, sleeping in our room on the weekends, watching movies, playing games, gardening, doing art, etc, these activities mean a lot to them.  

Some weeks ago, Tiana and I did painting together. She chatted the whole two hours, making all kinds of comments and sharing her insights. But the most curious part of all was hearing her ask questions. We were listening to music while we painted and she started singling out words and wanted to know their definitions. Our acrylic painting session became a lesson on vocabulary words! She kept going, asking me what this and that word meant as we heard each song. And she also told how much fun she was having. 

 
  
 

    
I have encountered this sort of responsiveness from my other kids in similar contexts — while they are enjoying personalized time with me, they are much more teachable. So my observation is this…if my kids are acting up emotionally or they seem unresponsive to my teaching, the cure is not to lecture them or force them to learn, instead I must consider whether they lack my time and attention. Each one of my kids is different in their looks, personality, abilities and interests, but the need of their hearts is the same. They yearn to have a loving and close relationship with me and Edric, which can only happen when we invest time to fellowship with them, get to know them, enjoy them, and minister to them. 

As child development psychologist, Dr. Gordon Neufeld so aptly put it, “We were never meant to influence minds whose hearts we do not have.” 

What can we do to capture the hearts of our kids? What do we need to stop doing and start doing or continue doing to spend quality time with them?

Comments

  1. Don't be discouraged, Joy! says:

    Just what I needed to read and at just the right time. Thank you, Joy.

  2. Beautiful <3 <3 <3

  3. nice work of art Tiana! It’s colors blend beautifully…

  4. I’m also guilty of physically being with my kids but mentally in the other side of the world. Thank you so much for this reminder! Hubby and I were talking about setting rules for ourselves like no gadgets when baby’s with us. Maybe we should take it more seriously and really implement it.

    And wow I really like Tiana’s work!

  5. Hi Joy,

    Thanks for this reminder.. I’ve learned this before in a Counterflow Session that we should indeed “Influence the heart” of our kids… Maybe I should post it somewhere around the house as a reminder for my husband and I to be intentional in our parenting. 🙂 Thanks and God bless.

  6. “So my observation is this…if my kids are acting up emotionally or they seem unresponsive to my teaching, the cure is not to lecture them or force them to learn, instead I must consider whether they lack my time and attention.” —> This is so true. I have noticed that with my kids to. Since they are below 4 years old, they understand love as time. When they start to get clingy or fussy getting my attention, I drop what I do and sit down on the floor and just play with them or watch them while they get busy with their activities. Thank you for this timely reminder that our children need to see that they are not distractions to us.

    And oh! Tiana is an art prodigy! I would buy that piece in a heartbeat!

  7. You a always seem to have the answer to my present troubles ms Joy, you are such and inspiration to me.. Thank you for this, I needed this reminder of why I spend time with my kids and that childhood is fleeting, they can only be little for so long

  8. You always seem to have the answer to my present troubles ms Joy, you are such and inspiration to me.. Thank you for this, I needed this reminder of why I spend time with my kids and that childhood is fleeting, they can only be little for so long

  9. Spot on! Thanks for this post. I am a stay-at-home mom and an independent homeschooler. 3 kids under 7 with no nanny. My 3-year old child has actually stated, ‘you’re like Cinderella, Mom’ which caught me off guard since he was referring to my seemingly endless work at home. My 7-year old would ask me if it’s hard being a mom. I never thought the kids would notice. Being with them physically does not mean they have all of your attention. Sometimes it’s barely there. The struggle is real. Anyway, Thank you again for blessing me with your wisdom. I am about to read it again

  10. Marjorie Chan-Reyes says:

    Nice read. And a nice work of art too. I want to try these with my baby.

  11. Follower of Jesus says:

    This article is inspiring, Joy. Keep inspiring more people. God bless you and your ministry 🙂

  12. Annette Rafael says:

    I’m guilty of this. Thank you Sis Joy for this timely reminder. I need to discipline myself and engage more in a fellowship with my daughter.

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