NOW OR THEN?

TOPIC: NOW IS ALL YOU HAVE

Fiddler on the Roof is my favorite musicals. Partly because I am a Jew. But mostly because the story is a universal one about life struggles, parenting struggles, the need for tolerance and to keep being who you are while trying to make the world a better place for all.

Sun rise or sun set. The days go quickly. Enjoy the now.

The lyrics of this song form today’s topic.

 
Is this the little boy I carried
Is this the little boy I played
I don’t remember growing older
When did they
When did she get to be a beauty
When did he grow to be so tall
Wasn’t it yesterday when they were small
Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset
Swiftly go the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze
Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following an other
Laden with happiness and tears.

David and I have given our kids much to complain about–try 300 plus brothers or sisters for a starter. Nevertheless, we have been there for our boys , and David has been a hands on ever loving father.  In fact we left our careers mid-stream so both of us could be hands-on parents.

Any parent who thinks not being there is okay, is dead wrong. Not a problem for most parents, but finding time is.  Tough,but ou can make time if you have your priorities in order.

I am not suggesting parents do as we did, that was really a bit extreme.  Worked out for the most part.

Also, I am fully aware that for some parents it is best not to be hands on full time.  As I have been known to say, I burned my bra to give more people, more choice.  Didn’t work our that way.  The hope of the 50’s and 60’s was that technology would free us, not tether us more tightly to the work world.

WHAT IS A PARENT TO DO?

Tip one: The concept of quality time is a good one.  Weekends are time to spend quality time with your loved ones, to insist everyone have “me-time.”

Tip two:  Insist part of the “Me-time” also be quiet time.  I remember lying under a tree with my Mom, and her telling me, “Be still and listen to the world.”   I also remember some nights when she and my father got my brothers and I up to go for a night walk.  That was another time we were told to be quiet so we could listen to the world.

Tip three: The earlier you start the idea of quality time, Me-time, and Silent time, the more it will be come part of your child’s life. 

Tip four: Make  certain each child has time alone with each parent.  It can be as simple as one parent talking and reading the bed time story.   If children share a bedroom and go to bed at the same time, arrange another private time.  The time alone is essential.

Tip five: As the child ages arrange date nights,  date breakfasts, date walks.  These do not have to be weekly, in fact they will be more special if  the dates are every two or three weeks or even once a month.

Tip six: Disconnect electronically during the date and make a big thing about doing so.  Teens connected? They must disconnect also.

Tip seven: Money need not be involved.  In fact, fun time together without spending money teaches a useful lesson. I do remember, however, having ice cream dates with my father.  We would walk to the ice cream store and have a sit down scoop of our favorite chocolate.

Tip eight: Don’t make dates you cannot keep.  The kids may act like they don’t care, but the message is they are not a priority and they need to feel special dates are special because they are sacred.  And yes, true emergencies do arrive.  Your boss asking you to have a beer with him or to work late is not an emergency unless you will be fired.  If that getting fired is a true danger, look for another job.

Tip nine: “Us time” often saves marriages.  David and I survived our time during the years of stress because our “Us Time” was watching Johnnie Carson every night

Tip ten: Your “Me-time” needs to be as sacred as your dates with your child. 

PRACTICE KINDNESS

Be kind to  me,  like this post, comment or  share.  You will be helping me stay strong and maybe  others as well.   Click here for my free Ebook: The 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Training Exercises.

IMAGE BY: My wonderful niece Heather when we all sat to watch the sunset on an evening walk.  

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