This is a guest post written by Sharlin Craig, author of Ornaments of Love.
Affirm Your Child’s Worth by Spending Time with Them
I remember reading one time about a study that had polled kids with this question, “If you could wish for one thing from your parents, what would it be?”
My first thought was that they’d ask for an ipad, a favorite toy, or some over tangible item.
But I was wrong. The majority response was, “I’d wish for them to spend more time with me.”
Wow. That really impacted me. And it made me sad. So much of the time as parents, we figure our kids would rather play with their friends, watch TV or play on their tablet vs. spend time with us. And yes, sometimes that might be true. But a lot of the time it’s not what they really want. Deep down, they crave time with parent(s) and so much of the time they don’t even realize it!
One day, this especially hit home with me. My five year-old-daughter and I had spent one of those non-inspiring summer days at home because we hadn’t made any plans. My daughter lay on the couch most of the day watching TV while I did laundry, cleaned the house and worked on my computer.
The longer the day went on, the crankier we both got. We were getting on each other’s nerves and things were quickly spiraling downhill!
I decided it was up to me to change the tone of the day. We had no obligations for the rest of the afternoon, so I told her I was going to take her to check out the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve which I’d been wanting to explore with her for a long time.
Of course, she wanted nothing to do with my plan, saying she was tired and was insistent on staying home. I told her we were going anyways and to get ready. I almost had to carry her into the car but pretty soon we were on our way. In the car, I told her we’d have fun and it was good to get out of the house and get some exercise. Her face in the mirror told me she didn’t buy a word I was saying.
But once we arrived, there was a complete turnaround. The minute we got out of the car, she began exploring different dirt paths, running back and forth like a caged animal who was finally set free! I was so happy she was happy! We visited the Mary Muth Interpretive Center, which had some wonderful displays about the wetlands and the different species of birds that inhabited the area.
Together, we explored the many paths and hiked for quite a while until we were hot, thirsty and tired. I spontaneously suggested that we meet Daddy for dinner at a waterside restaurant. She enthusiastically agreed. We ended up meeting him and enjoyed a wonderful dinner and a walk by the water afterwards.
On the way home, my daughter was thrilled. She said, “Mom, that was the best day ever! I’m so glad we went!”
Her joy confirmed to me the importance of my spending quality time with her. I realized she doesn’t care what it is that we do, she just cares that we do it together.
Kids know that we, as parents, have our huge ‘to do’ lists. But when they see us consciously put that list aside for them, it affirms their worth and makes them feel precious. And they are exactly that. Precious!
Sharlin Craig, a Detroit native who now resides in southern California with her husband and daughter, is dedicated to writing inspirational children’s books that touch the spirit of her readers. A graduate of Oakland University, she’s taught music to children for several years while also writing music and lyrics. She’s combined her love for children and writing into authoring her debut children’s Christmas picture book, ‘Ornaments of Love’ and the accompanying, ‘Ornaments of Love Coloring Book-Slowing Down with Family at Christmas Time.’
Sharlin believes that with the right surroundings and daily encouragement, children are boundless. She’s passionate about helping children feel understood and empowered through her books and hopes that her stories make them smile.
Enter to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card via the entry form below. Please note that this giveaway is part of a book tour hosted by Sharlin Craig.
Ornaments of Love Book Blog Tour