T.I.M.E. Matters in Parenting

On one hand, we treat Time as an endless commodity. We act as if we were immortal; getting busier and busier every day with new projects, new commitments, new clients and new activities. We don’t say No to opportunities out of fear of missing out (FOMO). Our toxic culture rewards us for doing more and more every day.

On the other hand, we complain of not having enough time. We treat Time as a finite source that we chase after, however we don’t seem to find it, so we keep chasing.

As children grow older (10 years and up), they tend to want to spend more time with their friends, and less and less time with their parents. This tendency is developmentally appropriate and to be expected. HOWEVER- they still need parents to spend time with them. I see many parents letting go of their time together with their pre-teen and teenage children, believing that by stepping aside in favor of peers, they nurture self- sufficiency and independence.

Children need to have their attachment needs satiated; only then can a shift of energy occur toward individuation, the process of becoming a truly individual person. Only then is the child freed to venture forward, to grow emotionally. Attachment hunger is very much like physical hunger. The need for food never goes away, just as the child’s need for attachment never ends.” (Gordon Newfeld & Gabor Mate, Hold On to Your  Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More than Peers)

To remember this idea, think of TIME as an acronym for these 4 pillars that will hold the relationship, the more time we invest in it:

T: Trust
I: Intention
M: Mindsight
E: Empathy

Like everything else in life, balance is needed. Parents know their own children better than anyone else, and will act accordingly.
My goal today was to remind all of us that time spent together matters, even when kids get older. I personally cancelled a few commitments in October precisely for this reason, and I am grateful I did. Enjoy!

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