While shopping during the Christmas holidays, I overheard a customer complaining about all of the expensive items on her son’s Christmas list, which she had no intention of buying him, by the way. She then asked a 14-year-old young man who was standing at the register with his mother, whether those items were on his Christmas list (maybe she was gauging whether her son’s extensive list was the typical request from a teenager).
Before the young man could answer, his mother very proudly informed the customer that her son already owned ALL of the items mentioned. It appeared that this young man already had every gadget/game/electronic device possible, so I can’t imagine what was on his Christmas list.
The conversation made me think of the following quote that I posted on Facebook recently:
“It isn’t what you possess that makes you happy, but what you experience.” ~Author Unknown
I wonder how much time that young man spends with his mother while playing with all of the “things” that she has bought him. I’m not passing judgment on this mother becauseI have no idea whether she spends time with her son or not.
But I do know that we live in a society where, more often than not, parents are giving “things” in place of quality time. As a result, we have a generation of teens looking for love (and happiness) in all the wrong places and realizing that all of the “things” they possess aren’t making them happy. Experiences will make them happy, not things!
A high school student wrote the following to me:
“My father has been in my life but not in my life. He doesn’t know my birthday, my favorite color,
never been to one of my games, or even come to school events.”
She went on to say that as a result of her father not being actively involved in her life, she wanted to have sex to try to fill that void. Regardless of what kids may make their parents believe, this is how they spell love: T-I-M-E. And if they don’t get the love they need from their parents, they will seek it from others.
Students complain to me all the time about not having a relationship with their parents and relationships are developed as a result of TIME spent together.
Children want to know that they matter to their parents enough that their parents are willing to invest their most valuable resource with them, their TIME.
Imagine how different our families, communities and the world would look if parents spent as much time planning what they will do WITH their children as they do deciding what they will give TO their children.
The one thing I would recommend in an effort to improve the state of our country’s youth would be for parents to spend more time with their children. You’d be amazed how much could be accomplished by this one act: morals could be taught, values could be instilled, bonds could be created, dreams could be shared, memories could be created and the list goes on.
One of the best gifts you can give to your children in 2013 is TIME! Commit to planning some “experiences” with your children this upcoming year that will foster a relationship as well as create wonderful memories that can be remembered for a lifetime.
What are you doing to develop a relationship with your children and create memories that your children will one day be able to share with their children about their childhood? Please share them!