Sunday, September 13, 2009

Parenting Tip #5 The Secret Ingredient

A woman who had a talent for baking gave a mini cooking class to a Church group and shared her famous brownie recipe. A few days later her neighbor called complaining that her brownies had not turned out like the talented baker’s had. She accused the woman of holding back her “secret ingredients”. The shocked baker asked her neighbor if she had used real butter. “Well, no, of course not, butter is expensive. I substituted margarine which is just as good.” The baker probed, “Did you use baker’s chocolate?” The neighbor replied, “everyone knows cocoa is a good substitute for baker’s chocolate.” And so it turned out that the secret ingredients were right there in plain sight; the neighbor had chosen to use substitutes and therefore could not achieve the desired results she had wished for.

As parents we often look for the secret ingredient that will turn our children into model children. It is so simple that sometimes we overlook it. It is so hard that sometimes we substitute other things instead. The secret ingredient is time. Giving time to your children is one of the most important ingredients in raising happy, productive children. There are many poor substitutes out there because as parents we are busy, stressed and tired. Too often we use TV, computer games, friends, soccer, etc for substitutes instead of giving quality time to our children. Quality time may be listening to your child tell about her dream, playing “Go Fish” with your son one more time, or just simply being home so your daughter can stay home and play.

Your baby is only going to be a baby for 2 short years---then you will never have that baby again. Enjoy giving time to your baby by touching, holding, laughing, playing, and being there with him. Your preschooler will be going to school soon and when she does, she will be gone for 7-8 hours out of your life and influence. Enjoy, play, listen with her now. Your teenager will only be a teenager for a few short years (did I hear clapping and whistling out there?) Listen to him, talk with-not at- him, respect him.

The secret parenting ingredient=Your time

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