When you take a second glance, beyond the simple act, and reflect on the message it sends, it’s easy to see why dating the kids is so important. As an added bonus, the dates are quite fun! My daughter and I laughed uncontrollably last night arm wrestling in our gold sequin tops at the cupcake shop and taking turns making the other laugh in our own version of the staring contest. Follow us on instagram for more photos
The way our family works God is first, next comes our marriage, and then the kids. Our marriage is not in competition against our kids; it’s not us versus them. Rather, our relationship with the children is strengthened by our relationship with each other. On the flip side, the marriage benefits from us having loving relationships with the children.
When I have a rough day with the kids, my husband is greeted by a grumpy, disheveled, woman when he gets home from work. I smile, kiss him, and continue to be myself, but I’m physically exhausted and emotionally drained. On days when my children do their best, it’s a different girl at the door. Perhaps I need to work on being more stable, but maybe I’m just a human being whose mood is affected by the stresses of the day. Although I recognize I need to grow in that area, I also know there is something I can actively do to improve the way I get along with my kids.
One of the achievements I used to overlook was the time I devoted to our children. For a while, spending quality time with my kids felt like another chore on a long to-do list, but it truly is one small step in changing the world.
Children may be a small percentage of the world’s current population, but they are 100% of our future. It breaks my heart to think I underestimated the impact I could have on them and through them.
When I envision the dreams I have for my family, I see us together, smiling and getting along. I dream of a peaceful home full of healthy children and grandchildren. I see my kids loving each other and being there for one another. I dream of selfless children who choose others before themselves. I pray that I raise children confident enough to lead by serving. I pray for children who work hard and manage their finances wisely. I see my kids married to committed spouses who honor and value them. Sounds trivial? Look around, those are BIG dreams.
Taking my children on dates is one step in the right direction. It is a supplement to all the other things we teach them through discipline and through our example.
- Print out my planning chart, one per child.
- Assign a month to each adult interested in participating (Grandma dates are fun too!)
- Decide which activity you will do each month based on weather, budget, and the family calendar.
- Display the chart in your family’s command center and watch the kids explode with anticipation.
Adaptation for larger families or parents of younger kids:
- Print one sheet per parent.
- Fill out the name of the child you will date each month.
- Determine the type of date you will have each month.
The initial planning process doesn’t have to be specific. The goal is to provide a guide to avoid the stress of last minute scheduling.
If you don’t have kids of your own, I challenge you to still print out this sheet and fill it out with the names of people you’ve been meaning to spend time with:
- Sit and listen to an elderly person
- Call your grandparents
- Play a sport with a neighbor’s child
- Take a young relative out to ice cream
- Visit someone in the hospital
The goal is to invest your time. There won’t be paparazzi following you around. There may not be an article about you in the local newspaper. However, I guarantee your investment will make a difference and that’s pretty amazing.
Be sure to share your charts and dates with us on instagram using the hashtag #AMAdates