4 simple and Inexpensive Ways to Spend Time With your child every week
We live in a society that often complicate simple matters. Money is great and I could always use more. However, the lack thereof should not be used as an excuse for not spending quality time with your children. No, we have never taken our children to Disney, and we don’t go on too many vacations but this doesn’t mean that we don’t spend quality time with them. Below are some things we do on a weekly basis to spend time with our children, providing a sense of security.
1. Pray with your children. Yes that counts as spending time with them. Prayer breaks down walls you didn’t know existed between you and your child. We have been making more of an effort to have corporate prayer times as a family. Tyrone and I are not the only ones that pray, we give each of the children a chance to participate. You hear what’s on their heart during this time. Some of that prayer time is spent disciplining and training the younger ones to be still, this can sometimes be frustrating but necessary so we keep at it. My goal this year is to also have individual prayer time with each child. It may only last a few minutes and that’s ok. I often ask them what they need prayer for, there is a short dialog, we pray and carry on. Each week the prayer time looks different. I am learning to not always wait for the perfect moment but to incorporate prayer with the flow of life.
2. Attend church together each week as a family. I have a husband, six children and we are all very different. Attending church together to worship God is our common ground. The sermon that was shared, the songs that were sung, the people we spoke to at church, the prayers that were prayed, the convictions that were felt, the aha moments that came as the preacher preached…these all give us some point of connection to dialogue on throughout the week. I know of parents who go to church without their children because they view them as a distraction from service. They may also feel that church is too long for the children especially if there is no nursery or children’s church. Believe me when I say I get this. I have had my fair share of being in the hallway with a misbehaving or loud child during service. But this is a part of the training. They eventually get it, some sooner than others. More seeds are sown than you may realize even if they don’t understand all that is being said. God knows how to reveal His truths to the youngest of soul. Whatever you do, choose a church based on God’s leading and not your child. It’s not always about the abundance of flashy and exciting programs for your child. God knows exactly where you and your family need to be for your spiritual growth. Trust his leading, it has eternal implications.
3. My husband has a weekly library date with the children. Each week the children are allowed to check out three fiction and three non fiction books along with some videos. While picking out the non fiction books, Tyrone gets insight into their world and interest. Conversations naturally flow and it is an outing that they look forward to every week. The kids absolutely enjoy this time with their father. Library cards are free and there are always new resources at the library, not a bad deal.
4. Eat dinner together as a family. I get it, we are all busy and I know that this is not always possible to do every night. Perhaps you can start off with picking just one day of the week and build from there. When we eat together, we each go around sharing the high (good) and low (bad) parts of our day. This gives us a lot of insight into each other’s day and provides a lot of teachable opportunities for Tyrone and I.
What do you do to spend quality time with your child? Leave a comment below.
About the Author
Anika Jones is a speaker and author of the book Lessons Learned Along The Way: A 40 Day Devotional. She blogs about faith and family at LivingForLater.com and posts weekly videos on her YouTube channels, Living For Later (@livingforlater) and Living Life Now (@livinglifenow). Anika loves speaking about developing intimacy with God and understanding who we are in Christ. She serves alongside her husband in ministry. They live in Illinois with their 6 children.