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.” 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. 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’?”
One family counselor said, “Kids need intimate interaction with their parents. Ten minutes of superficial conversation around the dinner table won’t do it.” 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.”
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.”
Do you want a close relationship with your children?
Give them some of your time!
 Russell Chandler, Racing Toward 2001 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992), p. 93.
 Kathi Hudson, Raising Kids God’s Way (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1995), p. 35.
 Howard Hendricks, Heaven Help the Home! (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1982), p. 69.
 George Barna, The Future of the American Family (Chicago: Moody Press, 1993), p. 105.
 Barna, p. 105.
 Bits & Pieces, 24 June 1993, pp. 13-14.
— Dr. Ron Rhodes