Two of our boys are currently playing Jr. league football, and are in complete football mode. Everything’s about football to them right now. So, almost daily, they’re asking me this question, “Dad, do you have time to throw the football around?” It’s almost to the point that it’s predictable when I know they’re going ask. And when they do, I have an intentional and important choice to make – to either say YES or NO. And it’s not always as easy of a choice as we think it should be.
However, is it just me, or do our kids seem to often ask for our time at the most inconvenient of times when we’re busy… you know, doing important things like adulting and such. If you ever find yourself struggling to say yes to your children as I do, here are a few things I try to keep in mind that help shape my perspective and response.
- I try to remember what it was like being a kid and how important it was to me when my parents said “yes” to my requests and prioritized me with their time.
- I stop and remember my priorities. No matter what I’m doing at the time, if I’m honest, it probably doesn’t have nearly the long-term impact or importance as those moments I can choose to spend with my child.
- I remind myself not to believe the lie that “I still have plenty of time.” Kids grow up in the blink of an eye. And I don’t want to regret having passed up on a single opportunity that I could have invested more into them.
So here’s a “YES” challenge for you. Are you ready for it? – See if you can go the next 7 days, one week, without saying “no” to your children when they specifically make any request for your time or attention. In fact, you are going to intentionally say “yes” to your kids as much as possible, dropping whatever it is that would keep you from giving them your time. This act of saying yes to your kids will impact your relationship and the closeness they feel toward you.
It sounds easy, but you actually might find it to be harder than you think.
– Every time they want to play ball in the backyard.
– Every time they ask you to look at their project.
– Every time they ask for your help.
– Every time they want to talk or for you to simply listen.
– Every time they reach for a hug.
– Every time they ask you to tuck them in.
– Every time they want more of you.
– Every. Single. Time.
Will it be hard? Probably. Will it inconvenience you? Yes. Will it be worth it? Absolutely.