While shopping during the Christmas holidays years ago, 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 (as if to gauge 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 the items mentioned.
It appeared this young man already had every gadget/game/electronic device possible, so I can only imagine what was on his Christmas list.
The conversation made me think about a quote I saw on Facebook once:
“It isn’t what you possess that makes you happy, but what you experience.“
Having Things ≠ Happiness
I wonder how much time that young man spends with his mother while playing with all the “things” she’s bought him.
And I’m not passing judgment on his mother because I have no idea whether she spends time with her son or not.
But I do know 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 still don’t make them happy.
Experiences lead to happiness, not things!
A high school girl wrote the following to me:
“My father has been in my life physically but not [actively involved] 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.
Proof that regardless of what kids may have their parents believe, this is how they spell love…
And if they don’t get the love they need from their parents, they’ll seek it from others.
Which even teens recognize is a recipe for disaster.
Case in point, check out this conversation from an 8th grade class when I asked the girls how they will parent differently when they have children:
8th Grade Girl: I will spend more time with my kids. Because my mom does these mental health days where she’ll let me stay home from school to just calm down and de-stress from everything. And she doesn’t actually stay with me. She just leaves. So, I’m like by myself. And even on school breaks, she doesn’t spend time with me though I wish she did.
Me: I’m hearing more and more girls tell me that they wish their parents spent more time with them. But, let me tell you what parents say: ‘My daughter doesn’t want to be around me.’
8th Grade Girl: That’s because parents give up too easily. They ask one time and if you don’t agree, they give up.
Maybe, just maybe, teens are testing you to see how badly you want to spend time with them.
Do you want to spend time with them enough to fight to make it happen?
How Much TIME are You Willing to Invest in Your Daughter?
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 differently our families, communities and world would look if parents focused more on what they will do WITH their children instead of what they will give TO their children.
The one thing I would recommend in an effort to improve the state of our 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 child(ren) in 2021 is TIME!
Commit to planning some “experiences” with your daughter this upcoming year that will foster a relationship as well as create wonderful memories that can be remembered for a lifetime.
In the meantime, what have you done during this crazy year to develop a relationship with her and create memories she’ll one day be able to share with her children about her childhood?
If you have some work to do, no worries. There are still three weeks left in 2020 to invest TIME in your relationship with your daughter.
Don’t let it pass you by!
P.S. The pandemic has proven a harsh reminder that TIME is precious and not promised to anyone. So please, make good use of this season you have with your daughter while she’s still under your roof. The quality TIME you spend with her today is an investment in her future that will pay dividends throughout her life’s journey. And one great way to invest in your relationship with your daughter is by watching my 7 Secrets REVEALED Masterclass together, and having open and honest discussions about each session like this mom did with her daughter:
“The information was relevant and gave us time to have many deep conversations. Although I’ve had many conversations with my daughters about sex, it was easier to unpack the information from the class after watching it together (and made it less awkward).”
Now that’s what I call time well spent! And you can do the same with your daughter by going here to register.
P.P.S. This post is one every mom and dad needs to read, whether they have teens or toddlers. So please go here to share it with parents in your network. And thank you for helping to spread the word!