How to spend time with your kids

double-date-copy-2I am a busy guy. I’d bet a dollar you’re busy too.

I’m a husband to one lady and a dad to six ladies!

I am a full time pastor and a part-time personal trainer.

There are always things to do, and I make a valiant effort to get them done.

What I have learned though is that things will wait, but people won’t.

The project I’m working on will be there tomorrow… my ladies may not. If I am not available to them, they will go to places and people that are. I have a responsibility to invest into their lives… and they’re not going to wait, so I need to invest time into them now! And the same is true for you and your kids.

Because we’re so busy, how do we systematically make time to invest into our kids?

I have written about this before, but it’s worth mentioning again…

I date my daughters. Every one. Every week. (the picture I shared is of a rare double date… it was just too cute not to share!)

Right now I am not able to spend as much time on dates as I used to, but every week each girl gets a 30 minute date. Here’s how that looks:

  • Monday: 3-3:30 Ashton; 4-4:30 Lexington.
  • Tuesday: no dates
  • Wednesday: 3-3:30 Karis; 4-4:30 Reagan
  • Thursday: 3-3:30 – Riley; 4-4:30 Dallas
  • Friday night – Family night
  • Saturday – 6:30 – 9ish a.m. – The First Lady (The lovely and talented Mrs. Peterson)

These dates are not expensive; for the girls we budget $1 per date (Sherri and I spend $12 on our date). In fact, the last year or so the girls and I rarely even spend our $1! We purchased a key chain from Wendy’s that is worth one Junior Frosty every time you present it! So, for a one time purchase of $1, I get six Frosty’s a week.

What can you do with $1 and 30 minutes? Check this out:

  • Eat a Frosty and play Memory
  • Eat a Frosty and play Truth or Dare
  • Eat a Frosty and ride through the country singing songs as loud as you can
  • Eat a Frosty and tell stories
  • Skip the Frosty and go to Family Dollar to spend the $1 that is budgeted
  • Eat a Frosty and play basketball in the driveway (no one else is allowed to play with us when we are on a date)
  • Eat a Frosty and read a book together
  • Completely blow the budget and go to Wal-Mart to buy Shopkins. (Frosty is optional on this one)

I really don’t buy the excuse that says “I don’t have time/money to date my kids”. I call “baloney” on that. You can do it. Will you?

There’s another way too…

I call it “Filling in the cracks.”

My mornings start early (4 a.m.), and I usually train clients at the gym from 5-7 p.m. So both morning and evenings are full. Because I start so early, I try to be in bed by 9 p.m. There is not a lot of time for extras right now so I’ve been taking advantage of two “cracks” of time I have with “the ladies”

  • 7:30- 8 a.m. I play basketball with the middle school girls (or get a makeup tutorial from one of them) while Sherri takes the elementary school girls to school. When they leave for school I head up to my office and get to work.
  • 3:30-4 p.m. I play with the elementary school girls while Sherri is picking up the middle school girls from school. When they get home I go on my second date of the day and then head out to the gym for my evening clients.

The point is that there are “cracks” in your day when you have access to your kids! Fill those cracks! Play a game. Listen to their stories. Enter their world for a few minutes. You’ll be surprised at the treasure you will find in those cracks!

So there’s two ways to find more time with your kids:

  • Schedule a weekly date
  • Fill in the cracks

I know we’re all busy… but someday we won’t be, and when that day comes I do not want to look back with regret because I didn’t spend time with my kids.

How about you? What are some ways that you make time to spend with your kiddos?

Family pics

Last Sunday we had some family pics taken. As I looked over them I realized a few things:

  • God was really nice to me when He sent Sherri my way. I love her more today than I did seventeen years ago!
  • We have six diverse, beautiful, and talented daughters. The responsibility that comes with being “Dad” to all of these princess warriors is off the chart. I am reminded that prayer must be a part of my daily routine.
  • I hope my girls marry a man that loves them as much as I love their mom. And I hope they are even half the women their mom is.

OK, enough chest beating about my lovely ladies… Here are some pics for my journal and my friends.

paul and sherri

girls silly girls

family
paul and sherri kissing