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How Do You Spend Quality Time with Your Kids?

Copyright: daphoto / 123RF Stock Photo

Years ago, when my kids were younger, the neighborhood ladies would get together every once in a while for lunch and a little wine while the kids were at school.

It was a way to be social, to discuss parenting issues and, well, to drink wine in the middle of the day.

I remember one conversation really vividly and it actually changed my life. One of the moms said, “Stay-at-home mom is such a misnomer!” (actually I don’t think she used the word misnomer, but like I said, this was awhile ago and that’s the perfect word  – editorial license). “To say that I am a stay-at-home mom would mean that I’m actually AT home at some point throughout the day! Instead I’m in the car almost full time between doctor’s appointments, running errands and getting groceries. By 3pm I have turned into the driver for no less than 2 activities each for 3 kids. I haven’t eaten a meal anywhere besides the front seat of my SUV in months!”

The sad thing was, she wasn’t kidding.

The sadder thing is, most families have a very similar routine.

That’s why I think this week’s interview is so interesting. We’re talking with Julee Sylvester about how she very deliberately took her family’s summer back a few years ago. And if it’s something that sounds good to you, you almost need to start planning for it now. I don’t know about you, but I’ve already started getting brochures for summer activities!

How do you define quality time with kids?

We also discuss the recent article posted by a University president about the expectations of kids today and how they have become so coddled and protected they have an unrealistic view of life.

I’m going to take this one step further, and it probably won’t be popular. Is it any wonder that when we spend so much time driving our kids around in the evenings and spending thousands of dollars (often going into debt) to fund the activities that they want to try, that we get to a point when these kids grow up and go to college and have an inflated view of themselves and their importance to the bigger picture of life? I seriously don’t think that’s much of a leap.

And, if that’s how we’re spending most of our time, driving them from place to place and watching them perform, is it fair to call that quality time with our kids? Where does quality time fit in? Does it even enter the picture of our modern lives?

I’m interested in what you think. Do you agree with Wesleyan’s president? Will you be trying Julee’s idea of taking back your summer? Do you long for the days of summer when we were young, or do you thrive in the busy-ness of it all? Let’s talk about it below!

Related links from today’s show:

Hometown Tourist: 27+ [minn]ecations around Minneapolis/St. Paul & beyond
A Letter to Moms of Little Ones
University President Blasts Students for Being to Sensitive: This is Not a Daycare!
This is Not a Daycare, It’s a University!

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  • Clever Dude

    I certainly have spent my share of time driving my son around (less now that he has a license)….but I also make a conscious effort to do activities with him. Between taking an interest in his gaming, and what he’s got in mind to upgrade next on his computer we always find something to talk about, or explore together!

    • I think that’s the right spirit. I’ve gotten into a few activities with my kids (a collectible card game, for one) that really wouldn’t have ordinarily appealed to me. But it was important to him, so I gave it a shot. Had some fun in the process, but more importantly, spent a lot of time, and had some great conversations. Sometimes you’ve just got to meet them where they are.