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Christian Parenting Center
Resources for Raising Your Kids Christianly
Christian Parenting Tips: The Myth of Quality Time

In any list of Christian parenting tips, one at the very top of the list has to be to regularly spend time with your child.

Journalist Russell Chandler reported, “Some statistics indicate that many teenagers spend an average of less than thirty minutes a week in a ‘meaningful relationship’ with their mothers and fifteen minutes a week with their fathers.”[1] I don’t know about you, but such statistics seem rather appalling to me.

Parenting experts tell us that we should not be deluded into thinking that kids don’t notice it when we choose not to spend time with them. One study of 2,400 fifth-graders indicated that the one thing they found most upsetting was that they didn’t get to spend enough time with their parents.[2] Professor Howard Hendricks says: “What really tears a kid up is not that you don’t have more time, but what you choose to do when you do have time. Do you make the decision, ‘I want to spend my time with you’?”[3]

One family counselor said, “Kids need intimate interaction with their parents. Ten minutes of superficial conversation around the dinner table won’t do it.”[4] Another counselor commented, “If our parents devoted the same amount of time to their children as they do some of their hobbies and shopping, today’s kids would be transformed in a generation.”[5]

Popular author Charles Swindoll once found himself with too many commitments in too few days. He got nervous and tense about it. “I was snapping at my wife and our children, choking down my food at mealtimes, and feeling irritated at those unexpected interruptions through the day. Before long, things around our home started reflecting the pattern of my hurry-up style. It was becoming unbearable.”

Swindoll reflects: “I distinctly remember after supper one evening, the words of our younger daughter, Colleen. She wanted to tell me something important that had happened to her at school that day. She began hurriedly, ‘Daddy, I wanna tell you somethin’ and I’ll tell you really fast.’”

That got his attention! Swindoll recalls: “Suddenly realizing her frustration, I answered, ‘Honey, you can tell me — and you don’t have to tell me really fast. Say it slowly.” I’ll never forget her answer: “Then listen slowly.”[6]

Do you want a close relationship with your children?

Give them some of your time!

[1] Russell Chandler, Racing Toward 2001 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992), p. 93.

[2] Kathi Hudson, Raising Kids God’s Way (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1995), p. 35.

[3] Howard Hendricks, Heaven Help the Home! (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1982), p. 69.

[4] George Barna, The Future of the American Family (Chicago: Moody Press, 1993), p. 105.

[5] Barna, p. 105.

[6] Bits & Pieces, 24 June 1993, pp. 13-14.

— Dr. Ron Rhodes

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Christian Parenting Advice: The Gift of Love
Christian Parenting Tips: Parent-Parent Intimacy
Christian Parenting Resources: Training Your Children
Christian Parenting Advice: Developing Auto-Pilot Responses
Christian Parenting Tips: Modeling for Your Children
Christian Parenting Tips: Ingredients of a Good Model
Christian Parenting Advice: Setting Boundaries
Christian Parenting Advice: Boundaries and Authority
Christian Kids Activities: Say Yes When You Can
Childrens Bible Lessons: Your Children Can Trust in Christ
Childrens Church Lessons: Six Keys to Evangelizing Children
Christian Parenting Resources: Make the Most of Family Devotions
Christian Parenting Resources: A Family Devotion Game Plan
Christian Parenting Advice: Teaching Responsibility
Christian Parenting Tips: Teaching Humility
Christian Parenting Advice: Teaching Honesty
Christian Parenting Tips: Teaching Good Work Habits
Christian Parenting Advice: Work is Good
Christian Parenting Tips: Teach Your Kids to Control Emotions
Christian Parenting Advice: Teach Your Kids to Control Anger
Christian Parenting Tips: Teach Your Kids to Handle Failure
Christian Parenting Advice: Four Suggestions to Help Kids Handle Failure
Christian Parenting Tips: Teach Your Kids Decision-Making Skills
Christian Parenting Advice: Teach Your Kids to Make Wise Decisions
Christian Parenting Tips: Teach Your Kids to Take the Long Look
Christian Parenting Advice: Teach Your Kids to Avoid Hurtful Words
Christian Parenting Tips: Teach Your Kids to Speak Kindly
Christian Parenting Advice: Teach Your Kids to Guard the Mouth
Christian Parenting Tips: Help Your Kids Gain a Healthy Self-Concept
Christian Parenting Advice: Teach Your Kids to Resist Peer Pressure
Childrens Bible Lessons: Solomon on Friendship
Christian Parenting Tips: Teach Your Kids to Guard the Mind
Childrens Bible Lessons: Teach Your Kids to Love God
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