I know one-on-one dates with each of my kids is important, but if I am not careful, I overlook something more valuable in the process.
Maybe you can relate.
Early in our marriage, Holly and I were at dinner when a mentor of mine started to share parenting tips that I am reminded of today.
This mentor told the story how they had their kids over for a holiday dinner and talked about their favorite childhood memories and what impacted them the most, as they were now parents themselves.
As this conversation was developing, my mentor was thinking about all the amazing things they did with the kids over the years – the trips to Disney World, the beach vacations, the ski trips – and trying to guess in his mind what they would pick.
Their answer shocked my mentor…and may you as well.
Their favorite memories were not milestone type events. Instead, it was when the family camped out in the backyard. The late night movies in the basement. The conversations after a boyfriend broke up with them. ‘Couch time’ when they just talked. Playing ‘bear’ in the family room.
Yes, the big trips were awesome, but it was the small, more frequent moments that had a lasting impact.
Small Bits vs. Big Blocks of time
Recently, I saw this theme play out in another way. I had conversations with two friends thinking about how to ‘win at home first’ and be intentional with their kids. Each was trying to carve out 4-5 hour blocks of time to hang out with their kids. The challenge is they are both busy executives so these time blocks are on the weekend, which didn’t have openings for months.
As we talked, I was reminded of my mentor’s story. Don’t overlook the small, regular investments while looking for the big memory maker.
I encouraged them both to start looking now for the 10-15 minute time blocks with their kids, instead of waiting until the big 4-5 hour block arrived.
Sitting on the coach without technology and asking how their day was. Playing Uno for 15 minutes. Listening and talking about their new favorite song. Watching and talking about their video game. What made them laugh today. What are they grateful for.
We can get so focused on the big event, that we miss out on the small investments that actually have a greater impact in the long run. Yes, we need those trips, but it is the small investments that make the foundational impact.
Just like working out and trying to lose weight…..many 30 minute workouts over a couple week period is better than two 5-hour workouts.
Don’t miss the small moments while trying to make the big memories.
Thank you for reading.
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