Spending More Time with the Family


Recently I was watching the news and a famous athlete was announcing their retirement from the sport they had given so much too, when they were asked why. The answer was the very common answer given by politicians, athletes and business people as they retire or resign, “I want to spend more time with the family”. This is great for the people who can retire to do this, but for the rest of us who have to work, have busy schedules and then try and have time for the family it is a little more of a challenge.

However, our children are only young for such a short time, so it is essential that we do take the time to spend with them, playing, talking and dreaming. Here are some practical suggestions from a Fathers Perspective:-

  • Lie on the bed with your child after lights out, and let them talk about their hopes, fears, dreams and failures.
  • Be a parent who can be counted on and available to share the excitement of achievement or the pain of disappointment. Our children need to know that they are more important to you than the 6pm news.
  • Understand the embarrassment of accidentally breaking a glass or window. Don’t make it worse by your anger.
  • Work at understanding the world of your children – watch their favourite TV programme, listen to their music and read their books.
  • Let your children enter your world. Let them help you do things around the house. It will take longer, but their confidence grows and your friendship develops.
  • Give your children $5 or $10 for no reason at all.
  • Treat transport time as a valuable opportunity for one on one communication.
  • Talk about your feelings so that your children learn that it is alright for them to talk about their feelings. Talk about when you are happy and when you are sad.
  • Enjoy your children’s company.
  • Spend time with your daughters. You are the first man that your daughters really know. It will help them feel good about being a woman if they see that you enjoy your time with them. You are helping them learn how to expect men to treat them when they grow up.
  • Show your sons the ways that you would like them to be when they are men. To learn this, boys need to spend time with you. They will learn much more from what you, do than from what you say.
  • Don’t push your children into doing things that you wanted to do and missed out on. They need to live their own lives.
  • Introduce them to their creator. His Friendship lasts a lifetime.

Just by doing some simple things we can avoid getting to our death beds and making the all too common statement “I wished I had have spent more time with the family”.

Taking the Eagle Approach

It is often said that you do not develop leaders or champions on feather beds. The eagle approach works best. Eagles build their nest high on mountains, exposed to the first rain, the first snow and the strongest winds. When Mother Eagles builds the huge nest, she starts with limbs and pieces of rough bark. Inside that, she puts glass, stones, branches and so on. Next she picks up leaves, cloth and similar objects. On top she puts feathers – some from her own body – and in this nest she lays her eggs.

When the little eaglets make their appearance, the eagle parents nurture the babies with food that they have eaten and regurgitated. As the eaglets grow, Mother Eagle removes the soft down from the nest, reducing the eaglets comfort level. Later, she removes the leaves, soft branches and cloth, further discomforting the eaglets.

By this time the young birds begin to climb up the sides of the huge nest to escape the discomfort. Finally, Mother Eagle removes the smaller sticks and everything else so that the eaglets are exposed to the glass, rocks, cans and other uncomfortable bedding. Now the eaglets stay on the sides of the nest. And here’s where the tough love really begins. When the eaglets reach the top of the nest, Mother Eagle nudges one of them over the side, and it goes hurtling toward what seems like certain death on the rock below. At the last instant, Mother Eagle swoops underneath and catches the eaglet on her own back. She repeats the process until the eaglets are flying on their own.

Mother Eagle’s job is done – she has worked herself out of a job. That’s what successful parenting is about – working yourself out of a job and, in the process, developing individuals who are competent and ready to make their mark in the world.

Parents must behave like eagles if they want their children to soar.

(This illustration is taken from Success for Dummies by Zig Ziglar IDG Books)


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Categories: Family, Motivational, Wisdom for life

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