We are so busy... I feel like a taxi cab driver... I never see my kids... are some of the comments we hear from parents of teens. School, church, sports, friends, music, dance and other activities over run schedules. It sometimes seems like keeping up with the Joneses is not only about money anymore!
The old argument of quality of time vs. quantity of time gets even more difficult in the teen years. According to Dave Simmons, founder of Dad the Family Shepherd, the answer of this age old question is: both!
In his book, Dad the Family Counselor, Simmons writes,
"By the way, don't fall for the old quality versus quantity myth. Many believe: "Well, I may not spend a vast quantity of time with my children, but when I do, I make sure it is quality time." This reasoning fails to consider that quality time with children cannot be programmed; children do not regulate their teachability and responsiveness according to your schedule.
Can you imagine me making this statement to Helen when she was five years old? "OK, Helen, next Wednesday at 6:42, I've scheduled seventeen valuable minutes to spend quality time with you. We're gonna have a good time! Now, set your watch. Be there! Be ready!"
You must spend a vast quantity of time with a child in order to seize those special brief moments when the child turns to you with wide-eyed wonder and grasps intensely for heart-to-heart intimacy."
Even though teens feel pulled in many directions and we struggle to spend time with our kids, they continue to have several key connection points to you. One of the most important points, is money. I believe this because every single interaction we have with the world involves some type of money.
Money is not just cash as we think of today. Money or mammon in the Old Testament was any and every possession not just gold or silver. Try to think of a single incident in our daily life where we do not use some type of possession to interact with others. When we wake up we get out of a bed, we have clothing on our bodies (hopefully), we get food to eat, we shower, we get in a vehicle or pay to ride public transportation to the destination where we make the money to pay for everything we have!
Money gives you have a built in connection point that will allow you to spend time with your teen. You have the choice to use the moments to connect with your kids through money or money may become a point of conflict in your household.
Which will you choose?