It’s cliché to say, but clichés are often born out of a certain level of truth – the days are long (and the summer days are longer!), but the years are short. And the years once they enter school speed up exponentially. My youngest is about to become a senior in high school. A year that I know, from walking through it with his older brother, as a year of “lasts.” And a year that can bring the strained relationship of a young person on the edge of independence and a mom still holding on because we don’t feel done yet. A year that defies the physical laws of science in how swiftly the days pass – flying toward forever change.
Son Russell on left age 20, Son Douglas on right age 17
So what if we looked at the rest of summer another way? What if we saw this as opportunity instead of an obstacle? What if we accept this gift of unstructured time with our children that these last few months give us, rather than counting down the days til school starts?
Many years ago, a mentor helped me see summer as just such an opportunity. A chance to redeem some time – quantitytime – with my kids. Quantity time that the necessity of school robbed me of. Quantity time inside which quality time is born – the only quality time that ever has any meaning. Long days with my kids doing “nothing” – errands, lounging around the house, doing chores together, sitting to watch their favorite TV show, staring at the clouds together – before 10 a.m. of course, after which time being outside meant being in the pool. And, oh, those hours in the pool together. Watching them because they just want to be watched as they do everything – “Watch this, Mom! I can swim all the way to the other side!” “Watch this, Mom! I can hold my breath forever!”
I have no more days of “Watch this, Mom!” The magic of my witness has waned considerably as they’ve grown. But my investment in those earlier years has paid dividends I wouldn’t otherwise have earned. My quantity time commitment means that they still seek me out now. They still invite me into their lives, just differently so. “What do you think, Mom, about whether I should change my major?” “What do you think, Mom, about this girl I just asked on a date?” When they were young I caught the quality inside the quantity and I’ve been rewarded for that effort. Because it’s easy to tell a toddler that you’ve set aside “this time” as “quality.” Try that with a teenager. You gotta earn it, mamas. You earn it with quantity. And ironically our problem with summer is that it is so chock-full of quantity. So, use it to your advantage. And when you get to senior year as you walk through those “lasts,” you’ll be so glad you did.
One tool that Family Matters offers to help you make the quantity of time quality by helping you parent each individual child better (which can even help with the sibling rivalry of summer we’ve discussing on Instagram and Facebook) is our Kids Flag Page.
The Kids Flag Page is a fun way for moms and dads to interact with their kids and truly discover the heart of each child—who God created them to be. When you follow the simple, step-by-step instructions to complete your child’s Flag Page and read the information in the accompanying book, you will:
- Discover the way God uniquely hardwired your children individually and how to best relate to them.
- Find the six key things that motivate your child
- Find out what your children love most about life.
- Connect to the heart of your child.
- Learn the do’s and don’ts of how to motivate, encourage, discipline and help each child succeed in life.
- Learn how to raise your kids in the power of God’s grace.
- Discover how to bring the best out of your strong-willed kids.
- Comment below on one take away from this blog post or your biggest “ah-hah” moment from the #siblingnonrivlary tips we’ve shared thus far.
- Follow and like our giveaway Instagram post and tag 3 or more friends in the comments
- Follow and like our giveaway Facebook post and tag 3 or friends in the comments
- For one extra entry each: share and/or repost on your own Facebook and Instagram page
This contest will run end Sunday July 8th at 11:59pm MTS and the winner will be announced on Monday July 9th, 2018.
If you don’t want to wait to see if you win and purchase now, you can do so at this link: Kids Flag