What will you think 5, 10, or 15 years from now when your kids have grown and left your home? Will you—or your kids—have regrets on the moments you missed?
I remember how our 7-year-old used to give us the peace sign when he was younger. He’d put up his pinky finger and his ring finger. Instead of trying to correct him, we captured it with our camera knowing he’d learn the “correct” peace sign later. It was a simple, yet fun, moment that always takes us back.
I also remember our daughter talking and talking and talking right as we were tucking her in to bed at night. That was her moment to talk about any random thing that came to mind. Now when it is bedtime, she would rather not say a word. Those conversations were precious and I admit I sometimes wish she would talk our heads off now at bed time.
If you are in the same boat as me, you may be wondering, “How do I not miss any more moments? How do I experience as much as I possibly can with my kids?”
1. Begin with the end in mind. Steven Covey taught us in his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, to begin with the end in mind. Have a clear picture in your mind of what a future day will look like. This may take you right to the moment of truth when your kids leave. Doing so will make you evaluate your choices at the point of a decision to spend time with your kids.
2. Make them a priority. One of the things you should see when beginning with the end in mind is the relationship you will have with your kids in the future. Keeping that in mind will encourage you to make your time together today a priority.
3. Plan things. Writing things down has proven to be an effective way to make something happen. Set aside some predetermined times to spend with your kids. Mark the dates in your calendar and make them non-negotiable. Have your kids do the same if they are old enough to keep track of their schedule and calendar.
4. Do them. It does no good if you do not follow through. You will do more damage than good if you plan it and don’t do it. Remember the quote, “Do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, in the best way it can be done, and do it like this every time.” When it is time to hang with your kids, do it, do it now, do it to the fullest, and put it on repeat.
5. Capture them. Cell phone cameras, digital cameras, and digital video cameras give you many ways to capture the moments with your kids. Don’t be afraid to snap and snap away. Part of the fun of these moments is reliving them later in pictures and conversation.
How do you make sure you don’t miss moments with your kids?
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