“Dad where are you going?” This was the question I often asked my dad as he was grabbing his wallet and putting on his shoes. He would reply “To the store.” “Can I come?” I would ask with excitement! My dad never said no. It was his 15 minutes with me. My dad seemed to know something I often forget in the craziness of life and that is one day my children will grow up. Our trips to the store were always an adventure. We talked, played games and reminisced about life. Soon it was not just the trips to the store that allowed me alone time with my dad but also our little bedtime routine. A few nights a week he tucked us into bed and sang us songs, played goofy games, or told us made up stories. You know what though? Those 15 minute dates with my dad played a role in the adult I grew up to be. I love being a parent and often think about the fond memories I have with my parents.
My life is a little crazy right now and a typical week for me could include 8-10 hours in the classroom, 8-10 hours seeing clients, and 20-30 hours of administrative work. Plus, I homeschool our kids and manage our home. I am running kids here there and everywhere. Last year, during one of my classes, my professor said “You only need 15 minutes a day per kid to refill their cup”. I was under the impression I needed hours alone with each child. 4 kid’s times hours of one -on -one time equals another part time job! When I feel overwhelmed I remember my 15 minutes’ dates with my dad.
It only takes 15 minutes!
Think about it, these crazy children of ours really do not have long attention spans. Its not the quantity that matters but the quality. Spend 15 minutes a day
Reading to them
asking them about their day
Playing a game
Baking cookies together
Doing chores together
Taking a run to the store
15 minutes a day helps them feel
And heard by you.
15 minutes of quality time will even change their behavior. Just try it. Are your kids angry, acting out in some sort of way? Try to 15 minute dates and see if you notice a change in behavior.