Today I heard a very sobering comment from a 4 year old in a class I was helping in at church. We were reading a Fall story about a squirrel that was gathering nuts, berries, and other foods for the winter months. The other animals of the forest wanted Squirrel to play but he said, “I am just too busy.” The 4 year old raised his hand and said, “That’s what my daddy says to me every time I ask him to play with me..he says ‘I am too busy’.” Sadly, we parents say that phrase way too often to our kids and we miss out on opportune times to have conversations with our kids. We took our kids camping for a long weekend. Even though we spent hours with them, they still wanted our attention the very next day. You can’t “bank time” with your kids. They need us every day whether we are “too busy” or not. When my kids were toddlers, my pediatrician told me to make sure that I was spending 20 minutes on the floor with my kids every day. I said to him, “Really, you have to tell people that?” Yes. Yes he does… because the average parent spends only 10 minutes a day talking with their kids. At least that is what he told me. How sad. At the end of the day, relationships matter. The most important relationships are the ones with the people in your own home. And I assure you, if you aren’t making time deposits into your kids, you won’t be able to withdraw much when it comes time to have some hard or uncomfortable conversations. Talk candidly with your kids about lots of subjects. Turn off the movie in the car ride and start singing and talking. Put down your “to do” list and play with your kids. Make an effort. I didn’t blog for a month. I didn’t make time to blog…..it wasn’t that I could’t…I just didn’t. Don’t make that mistake with your kiddos. Good parenting requires sacrifice on the parts of the parents…sacrificing your agenda…a dream job….possessions…a social life…but those are worth it when you raise kids who know how to love God and love others. So slow down and spend some time with your kids every day. Make sure they know they are a priority. And if you are brave, ask them if they think you are too busy to play. Because spending time with your kids is never wasted time. It’s just time well spent.