As we drove off from our son's school on Wednesday night, my husband struck up a conversation about our children. Our son left for Florida with his school's track and field team. My husband began by saying how proud he was of his children and how he wished he could give them the world. My response was that he gives them something much more valuable...himself. There's nothing more valuable than the gift of self.
As parents we get caught up in the 'things' that we give our children. No matter the age, all our children want is our love and undivided attention. The stresses of day to day life and demands at work can sometimes hinder our time with our children. Sometimes we give them 'things' in guilt because we're not able to be with them. There's nothing wrong with giving things to your child but there must be boundaries and limitations. Time spent with your children allows you to influence them and instill your moral values on them. Teenagers would love spending time with parents if they feel respected and their independence is not compromised. In other words, when spending time with your teens, don't nag them or highlight their faults. Instead, get to know them by listening to their interests. Before you know it, they'll be off to college. Invest your time now and it'll yield great rewards!
I had a proud mommy moment when my son uttered thanks and appreciation to his father and me for enabling him to go on his trip. He hugged and gave us farewell kisses. My son is by no means perfect, but moments like this make the imperfections disappear. It's times like these that make me feel accomplished and successful. The time I spent paid off...if only for a fleeting moment. During this Spring break spend some one on one time with your children. Take them shopping with you or to the supermarket. Sit and have dinner together at home. Go for a walk. Spend some time in their world and get to know them. They may think you're acting weird. So what! Be weird, be positive and embrace your journey!