We probably don’t have to tell you this, but your child is constantly growing and changing. They’re changing physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally. You might be thinking, “How am I supposed to be the expert on parenting when I blinked, and my child moved on to the next phase of life?” Just as you were getting the hang of parenting your preschooler, they’re headed off to Kindergarten, or just as you were figuring out how to parent your hormone-raging middle schooler, they’re pulling out of the driveway in your car. It might feel like time isn’t your friend because it keeps moving like a high-speed train.
But what if we told you the exact opposite: time IS your friend. It just requires a shift in focus, not on how fast time is moving but on how you can be intentional with the time you have before your child heads off into the world as an adult. You don’t have to worry about making every second count because the things you’re teaching your kids this week are connected to next week, and the week after that, and the week after that.
Think about it this way; time is simply a platform you can leverage to accomplish something significant over time in your child’s life.
This isn’t a new concept. Let’s look at this example for a minute: there are aspects of God’s nature and secrets about life that are so intricate that they simply take time to decipher. God uses time to clarify and solidify certain values in our own hearts. So why wouldn’t it be the same with parenting? How you use time over time may be the best way to cultivate values that truly matter in the hearts of your own kids as well. (Parenting Through the Phases)
So you may be asking, “What things do I need to teach my kids over time to instill values that truly matter when they become adults?” Well, we’re glad you asked. There are a few critical things your kids need from you over time:
Love, Words, Stories, Fun, Work, and Tribes.
You might already be focusing on some, or all, of these through your parenting. But the key is to focus on the values you are instilling in your child when you teach these things consistently over time.
All of these things do not have to be taught in one moment. In fact, they can’t be taught in one moment, so take a deep breath and just remember—the ordinary things you do can make an extraordinary difference when you do them over time.
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