One of my goals for this year was to become a more engaged and involved parent, especially in the area of helping my kids to learn and be more disciplined. But when things got busy or I got tired, I would put that aside or not do that at all. I felt I needed a change.
Usually, when my first daughter (grade 1) comes home, she would grab a snack and watch TV or draw (She can draw for a long time!) until dinner time. Then after dinner, I briefly go through her homework but by this time, my energy is usually low and I found myself putting very little effort to help her.
So instead of letting her watch TV until dinner, I set my wifi router to turn off the internet connection just for our TV from 5-7pm. This means that she now clearly knows it is time to stop watching TV. So when it becomes 5 pm, she would come up to my room and we do the homework together until dinner time at 6 pm.
I initially assumed that she wouldn’t be interested in doing the homework together with me. But to my surprise, she really seems to enjoy that time with me, even when it involves studying! (of course she gets a bit antsy later but that is expected!) One day, she asked me while she was watching TV, “Daddy, is it 5 pm yet?” I was very happy.
There is a saying, “What gets in the calendar gets done”. I think this is very true. One of my goals for this year was to be a more engaged and involved father to my kids. But what I intended to do barely got done until I put it in my calendar (execution). I had every intention to be more involved but I kept finding myself delaying or coming up with excuses why I didn’t have time to do it.
Parenting is the only unique role parents have in this world. All our other responsibilities at work or home can be and will eventually be replaced by other people. But our role as father and mother won’t be replaced by anyone else. In fact, raising our kids well so that they become a godly, disciplined and responsible adult in this world is the extension of the great commission of making disciples of Jesus.
Sometimes I have many things to do so I get tempted to skip this time but I intend to keep this going. This is short but such a precious time to connect with her in a meaningful way. I believe little change that gets included in our calendar will produce lasting change in the future. Execution, not intention brings change.