You get home after a long day and you’re asked the question, “How was work?” Some days it’s easy to wonder why anyone would ask? Work’s not that thrilling is it? We live to get back home.
And yet, the work that may just seem like a regular day to you may be an extraordinary opportunity to connect with your kids. Take my family for instance. The other night they joined me for LifeSongs, sharing their favorite songs. It took a little bit to coax my 6 and 3 year olds to share their songs on a microphone. But afterward, when they had a chance to listen to it, they were dancing and singing along in the kitchen. And I felt like the coolest Dad ever.
Of course everyone’s jobs are different and not everyone can get their kids on the radio. But even if you can’t take your kids to work, there are ways to connect with them through what you do each day. Maybe that’s chores around the house or home repairs. Maybe it’s working in the back yard. The key is, it’s something that you usually take care of yourself but you can allow them to do or help with. Getting your kids involved accomplishes a few things:
- It makes them feel special. They’re getting to do or help with something only grownups do. They’ve got bragging rights to their friends now and they just feel more grown up in general. Which, when you’re a kid, is a pretty amazing feeling.
- They’re learning, even when they don’t realize it. Kids sometimes try to avoid learning, or at least avoid it in the context of school. But when you work with your kids, you’re teaching them lessons in hard work, perseverance, patience, and all sorts of things. And if they’re having fun helping you, they probably don’t realize the learning is happening. You win.
- You’re gaining quality time with them. Be honest; your life is busy. And you constantly wish you had more time for your family. Involving your kids in the things that seem to be taking time away from them actually reclaims that time. You can spend time talking together, joking around, and bonding. You might create memories that will last a lifetime, just by digging in a garden for a few hours.
I still remember the Saturdays as a kid when my Dad had to go out on plumbing or heating service calls for his business. And when I got to come along with him, I was on cloud nine. Working with Dad, even if I got bored sometimes, was still the coolest thing ever. Dad thought I could help, and I felt pretty awesome about that. By simply involving your kids in the work you’re doing, you can do the same for them. Don’t miss out on that chance.
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