Like many parents I was always eager to spend time with my children, and wanted it to be fun time, but the pressures of work and life in general always seemed to get in the way.
Added to this was the inbuilt demand that I somehow justify this time and achieve something through it! Needless to say, all too often the urgent things squeezed out what I now know were the important things.
This week I have been reading a book called Championship Fathering by Carey Casey, who recognises that we all want to be better parents, but because we don’t know how to measure it we just stop trying and just keep maintaining status quo.
He then gives a helpful checklist of what we should be trying to find out in the time we spend with our children.
He suggests that we should be seeking to find out:
- what encourages my child
- what motivates my child
- how my child’s emotional needs change over time
- my child’s gifts and talents
- my child’s growth needs
- my child’s next step towards maturity
- the issues my child is dealing with.
The only way you are going to find out any of that is by spending time with them! But serious analysis via the twenty questions approach will not work. What you need to do is just have fun together, play, and do a whole range of activities. Then periodically go through this list and write down what you have learnt, without even really trying.