Each year seems to have a season that is a little more busy than the rest. We have times when our career is more hectic, our responsibilities increase, and our time at home seems to be rare. For my family, this season is the summertime. Summers at Camp of Champions USA are full of games, field trips, swimming, discipleship, and hot dogs; but the long summer days at Camp can be tough on my family, especially my kids. Every day I come home to smiles and big hugs from my son and daughter. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day. But it can be challenging for my kids when I’m gone before they wake up and don’t come home until dinner time. They notice the fewer hours that I spend with them during the summer months.
I stumbled across an article on familylife.com by Dan Sheaffer called “8 Creative Ways for Dads to Spend Time With Their Toddlers” that really resonated with me. In his article, Sheaffer describes an experience when his son began acting out when he would return home from work. He offers eight ways to intentionally connect with your kids when life is crazy.
One of his ideas, “go outside to play” is simple but profound. I run around outside with kids all day during the summer and sometimes the last thing I want to do is go to a park or play on the swings when I get home. I’m tired, and I suspect most parents are when they get home from work. But showing my kids that quality time playing with them is a priority to me makes a huge impact on them.
Sheaffer also recommends running errands with your kids. This is something I have found very beneficial. Anytime I have to run out to grab something, I take one of my kids with me. Even though running errands might not be an inherently exciting activity, we call them “daddy dates” and try to make them fun. For example, if I need to run to the grocery store, I’ll take my son with me and let him push a kid’s size shopping cart around and help me scan our items at the self checkout. My kids and I have both come to cherish these moments during the craziness of summers. More importantly, it allows us space to talk, share, pray, and play together. It helps me make sure that I'm striving to disciple my own kids as much as I disciple others at Camp.
What does quality time with your kids look like? How do you make time to spend with them during busy seasons of life? Take a moment and write out a goal for yourself on how you can spend better quality and quantity time with your kids.