Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Quality Time

Last time round I wanted to talk about (3) quality time.

What works for me is taking one of my daughters out, without her sister (taking her out with her sister doesn't count) for lunch. Recently we've started a weekly tennis date on Saturday mornings. This one-to-one time is useful when I feel that something's not right with them.

This idea comes from The Parenting Book, which talks about understanding when your kid's 'tank' is low. In fact, they got this idea from this book: The Five Love Languages of Children. My realisation that I wasn't a brilliant dad led me to do something about it. Someone once said to me: awareness gives the opportunity for choice.

Something we did this week brought home the importance of one-to-ones. If you're a crap dad like me, more interested in a TV series or your hobbies more than your kids, I want you to try something.

Get out some of your kid's old pictures out. You know, the ones you took 8, 4 or even 2 years ago. With even a short period of time you'll see they've really changed. Time passes. Time passes really quickly.

My neighbour tells me loads of stuff all the time. One thing I picked out of all the stuff he says is that, with his daughter, time passed really quickly. One minute at primary, next out of secondary, the next leaving home.

It's great looking at old pictures, but it often leaves me with a feeling of regret. I didn't make the most of that time did I?

I've tried to figure out how to stop time. It's not really possible, is it?  Maybe those 1-2-1 moments are about the closest you can get.

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