4 Ways to Slow Down Time With Your Kids

I feel like time is flying. Every minute with my kids is like a vapor—it’s here one second and then it’s gone. I remember holding my triplets in the hospital like it was yesterday. Then I blinked and watched them head off to middle school. It’s sad to think those moments in between aren’t coming back.

Every day, our kids are getting closer to graduation and leaving our homes for good. We’re busy, but we have to be intentional about the time we spend with them. If we don’t, we’ll look back one day and wonder how we missed it all. It sounds impossible, but here are 4 ways to slow down time with your kids.

1. Let them play with you.

I love watching golf on lazy Sunday afternoons, but my boys don’t always want to sit on the couch and count birdies. They want to play catch, knockout, capture the flag, or go to the beach. My daughter likes to have her nails painted and paint mine, so I do that with her. I never regret it, either, because the day is coming when they won’t ask me to go on scooter rides. I could talk for hours about how much fun I have shooting hoops in the driveway. Do the tea parties. Grab the crayons. Try hopscotch, even if you’d rather watch golf.

Shed your gruff exterior if you have one. Emotion is proof you’re alive and present in the moment.

2. Let them surprise you.

My boys are triplets but they are all so different. One loves comic books, another is a budding author, and one is all about cooking. And my daughter? She’s a singer! It’s amazing what you’ll learn about your children just by asking them what they’re passionate about. They are all so talented, so I make it my mission to plug in to what matters to them today. It gives me a way to bond with each of them in a tailored way.

3. Let them break you.

It’s hard for me not to tear up a bit when I look at old photos of my kids. They were so little. That time isn’t coming back. Men have that urge to be tough all the time. Be compassionate and vulnerable instead, and let your kids’ giggles and cries crack your outer shell. Let yourself cry when they tell you they love you. Hug them a little longer than normal after a long day. Kiss their foreheads when reading bedtime stories. Shed your gruff exterior if you have one. Emotion is proof you’re alive and present in the moment.

4. Let them fuel you.

My boys are sports fanatics. They play football, lacrosse, and baseball. When they sit and watch football with me, they ask great questions and we draw up plays together. I love it! It’s as if every time we flip on the TV to watch a game, we are provided with chances to make meaningful memories. Their passion for sports makes me more passionate, too. If we get invested in what matters to them, we’ll be invited along for the ride.

Sound off: What gets you excited about spending time with your kids?

Huddle up and ask your kids, “What activities make you feel connected with me?”