My wife has a habit of telling me that I don’t spend enough “positive” time with my children. I know she’s right. I feel it… deep down. Although I spend quite a bit of time with my kids, most of that time is negative. That is, the majority of our interactions are disciplinary. I’m always attempting to correct their behavior, decision-making, and everything else they do. The simple fact is that I want them to become respectable adults. I see it as my duty to the world (and to my children). That can’t be wrong, can it?
The problem is, however, that I really don’t spend much “quality” time with them. Most of the time I tell them I’m busy and shoo them away, even when I’m not that busy at all. On occasion I will choose to do something fun, such as play sports with them or even a board game. Beyond that I don’t do much, and it’s really beginning to bother me. After all, my kids are growing up, and growing up quickly I might add!! Before I know it, they’ll be out on their own and ready to blame me for all of their problems.
Sometimes I even tell my wife that I wish we had girls instead of boys (that’s crazy talk, right?) because at least then–when they’re teenagers–their mother will be THE problem and not me. But, I need to stop this type of thinking. I need to stop it quick.
There is a ray of hope, however. Recently, my children and I have been watching the shows Doomsday Preppers and Doomsday Bunkers together. I know, I know. These show are NOT what the prepper movement is really about. And I try to emphasize that to my children. They are, on the other hand, quite entertaining. My kids certainly think so. As such, they are very interested in preparedness (at least they say they are), so I thought this would be a good opportunity to (1) teach them useful skills and (2) have “quality” time with them.
I’m not entirely sure what I want to teach them or even how long that desire in them will last. But I do fully intend to use this time as an opportunity to teach them as much as I can as well as to provide a stepping-stone to a better relationship with them. I owe it to both my children and I to make that attempt.
If you’re in the same situation then maybe you can do this too. Reach out to your kids (even if they seem too old to be reached) and see what happens. Your children are certainly worth the effort. And, if it doesn’t work the first time or two, keep at it. And, if it does work out, I would love to hear about it.