I love how my friend Jon Acuff so humorously describes the seasons of childhood… “Never tell the parent of a toddler that childhood goes by so fast. Toddler days are 97 hours long. And daylight savings time is the devil, because your kids don’t know. Now, elementary school speeds up a little bit. Middle school starts to sprint. And high school is a blur. But the toddler years are slooooow.”
In reality, all of childhood goes by fast, but different seasons do feel like they go by at different speeds. And all too often, we don’t realize that we’ve missed some of life’s most important things until they’re gone, and we’re looking back with regret through the rearview mirror.
Just as the seasons change before we know it, so do our children. It’s no parent’s goal to intentionally miss the quickly passing years of their kid’s childhood. However, if you were trying, here’s some really easy ways that you could make sure to do it.
1. Pick up the phone every time you hear it ring or ding, regardless of what you are doing with your family. Mealtimes when you’re sitting down at the dinner table are definitely the best. Always make sure to have your phone on you 24/7, within arms reach. Never take intentional time away from your phone so that it can continue to take your intentional time away from your kids.
2. Choose to watch your favorite tv show over playing outside with your kids. And don’t forget to demand that they stay outside during the show so that you can watch it without interruption. Years from now, you’ll definitely be glad to be able to look back and know who won that round of the reality show, or how that suspenseful episode ended.
3. If overtime at work is available, always take it. Your family is sure to understand that why you’re rarely home at night is because you want to be able to afford to give them bigger and better things. Besides, they love those things more than you anyway, right?
4. When you’ve got a free night or a little free cash, make sure to live it up with your friends. In fact, do this as many nights of the week as possible. Even though your kids may not see you all day, they’ll certainly be okay staying at home playing video games and watching movies instead of spending more time with you.
5. Save up lots of money to buy the most expensive house, car, or things that you can. Better yet, buy it all before you have the money so that you can work your tail off trying to pay for it all while your kids are still young and living at home, that way it can all be paid off when they leave the house and you’ll have the extra time on your hands to enjoy it all. Remember, the size of house you live in and the price of the car you drive is what your kids will definitely remember for years to come.
6. Involve your kids in every single activity you can possibly find for them to be involved in. In fact, the more the better. You want to fill up as many nights of your week as possible with sports practices and other activities, so that you don’t have to spend anytime being bored at home with nothing to do. Also, allow these activities to keep you away from home and church as much as possible. Because who knows, they might make it to the pros. You’ll probably have time to invest into them spiritually later. And they have the rest of their lives that they can prioritize going to church.