TV and “The Ladies”


We are in the middle of a 5 week teaching series at Church180. This is the first time I’ve taught a series on parenting and I do it this time, not because I feel like I can, but because I feel like I must! I teach not as an expert, but as a fellow traveler on the parenting journey. This series has been insightful for me as I trust it has been for others.

Preparing for this weekend’s teaching I have been a bit overwhelmed.

Today I read a line in Gordon McDonald’s book The Effective Father that put a lump in my throat.

He writes,

“A father who thinks a television show is more important than a child’s bedtime will lose out on some of the most wonderful moments of life. He will miss the joy when his daughter takes his face in her two small hands and rubs his day old beard, studies his wrinkling middle-aged forehead [not applicable in my case], and kisses the tip of his nose.”

I have tucked “The Ladies” in bed enough to know that more often than not this is exactly what happens.

Lately I have been tired. The day does not end when the ladies go to bed. There is a kitchen to be cleaned up, clothes to be laundered, preparations to be made for the next day, etc. During the time that I am doing these things I have the TV on keeping me updated with the news of the day. Because I am tired it is often easier to go through the mindless ritual of cleaning up and listening to the news than it is to give a little bit more to each of the ladies. It is easier to say a quick goodnight and exchange a quick “goodnight kiss” as they are headed down the hall than it is to take time to tuck in, whisper with and spend a little more time with each lady.

I am a buffoon for thinking this.

By choosing to work and listen to the TV, I am choosing NOT to listen to and kiss and nuzzle with these awesome little ladies. Bad decision.

Ten years from now what is happening today won’t matter so much. BUT ten years from now, the investment that I make in my daughters today will matter a TON!

I need to say “No” to the TV tonight… and tomorrow night… and the next night…

3 thoughts on “TV and “The Ladies”

  1. Amen Paul! As someone who lost their father unexpectedly at a very impressionable age (13 yrs old), those memories of my father taking me on monthly dates and reading out loud nightly to my sisters and I are the ones we cherish most as grown women. His job required much of his time during the day, but the nights were ours to have and share with him and we all felt like special princesses as a result.

    TJ would say that inner princess has stayed within me, heh heh.

  2. Amen Paul you are a very smart Dad. God has blessed you with the sensitivity and knowledge you need to be a very close Dad and there is nothing like being very close to your Dad even in the later years.I miss that time with my Dad.God Bless Love you all.

  3. Hey Paul, I know exactly how you feel. It happens to the best of us. That time with the kids just before they fall asleep is precious. They may have been grouchy,bouncing off the walls, tired, and crazy kids. When they finally settle in their cozy beds they want my undivided attention. I may feel just as tired and crazed as the kids were a few moments before, but I do my best to spend real time with them. Paul our schedules are very similar. I get up at 4 or 5 am, but am on the farm by 5 or 6am. My mission each day is to be home by 4pm. I have helped on occasion with rides to/from school with Ian. I get home and help Michele with supper and/or the kids. We eat around 5pm. That’s early but we like it. Kids in bed by 7:30pm. I clean up the kitchen, do dishes, get things ready for the next day. It may take me to 9 or 10pm. Side note: to all the guys who do some domestic work around the house, you are “the man”. I may sacrifice some sleep by getting up early, but home by 4pm is essential. Its taken some time and effort to get my work schedule, those who work for me, and even those who are off the farm, but still serve the farm (deliveries/consultants), to fit my schedule. Its not perfect and I am always striving to maintain and improve the balance of how I use my time.

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