Maybe you think this past year and a half has been the perfect time to get back to family bonding. Some of you may protest that the whole bonding thing was overrated and you’ve had enough. Maybe your children are all grown up and have left the nest to start their own families. You may not be part of their lives anymore In any case, the family unit is still important to the success of the individuals within it.
Some of the best times I’ve had with my children were not on a stage or at a sporting or school event. We shared a lot of good stuff on the way to those things. Time spent in a car doesn’t seem like it would be life changing, but many of our best discussions happened then. I guess you could say I had a captive audience. Being part of a carpool to get ours’ and others’ children to and from school, leaving the field wide open for time well spent with the kids. Quality time, I guess you might call it. We’d talk about what happened during the school day – I could catch up on the latest romances – discover who was the best basketball, football, soccer player and where our team stood among the others. It also gave me time to discuss some of the problems they were dealing with. “Why do we have to go to a private school?” “Jane said I was fat ” “Carlie didn’t like my new outfit.” Things like that might’ve been insignificant, but so necessary to discuss with someone. I was always happy to be on the receiving end.
For us, 90 percent of our time was spent in the car, so I took advantage of every minute. We’d travel great distances to get to those school events. I was the self appointed drama director , so became a part of that time with my kids too. Now children are easily distracted by cell phones, texting, Ipads, social media, etc., which makes it even more important for time to be spent face to face in the moment. It’s vital for parents to connect regularly with their kids.
There were many road trips where I had to wonder why our kids had to go to a private school too. Like the many trips to basketball games when snows were falling horizontally and I had no clear view of the road. Or when my windshield wiper flew off during a thunderstorm on the way to a puppet show we were to present. One of the puppets replaced the wiper and worked pretty good until it went flying off too. Or the time when the stick shifter pulled out of its socket as we made a turn. I pushed it back in and we continued on. Never say die, I guess.
My point in all this is that we have our children for such a short time in their lives. We need to take advantage of any opening to communicate with them – to share in their struggles – praise them in their victories – and pour love on them in some small way. Treasure the time you have with yours. Soon they’ll be leading their own lives and it’s good to know that they can talk to you anytime . . . even in the car. I should probably add that my “captive audience” was sometimes asleep while I was pressing on through wind, rain and snow. Some of our conversations got through to them however, and they turned into amazing adults. Sounds like a bragging mom – I am.
Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Ephesians 6:4 – And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Proverbs 29:15 – The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left [to himself] bringeth his mother to shame.