time FLIES be the PILOT
Parents are all too aware of the passage of time. We know that it is fleeting and one of the only things you can’t get back. From the moment our children are born to the time they leave for college, it feels like the blink of an eye. When we are old and looking back on our lives, it isn’t the late hours we spent at work we are most proud of. It’s the times we did nothing at all but spend a rainy afternoon coaxing those first baby giggles out. We’re well aware of how important it is to appreciate and manage the time that we have in order to live our life to its fullest.
Children see things through a different lens. Time is a never ending expanse that stretches forward forever, and there’s no reason to use it well. After all, there’s lots of it. This can lead to kids who dawdle away their hours, and who depend heavily on you to help them get to school on time, put their shoes on, and even remember to get dressed or brush their teeth.
Teaching kids how to use their time isn’t just a matter of making sure they get to appointments on time, or to evenly manage homework and play time. It’s also important to help them make room for the things that matter in life. If they spend all their time drooling in front of a TV screen, they are missing opportunities to follow their passions, such as becoming a pro basketball player or studying the stars in the hopes of one day becoming an astronomer.
Helping your kids understand the value of time will give them the drive they need in order to succeed in life. If you’re working hard to find ways to help put your kid in the pilot seat to their next exciting adventure, here are a few ways you can have success:
Not too many kids actually yell out “Lawyer!” When asked what they want to be when they grow up. Your child’s interests may be rather far from your own, or even a big disappointment for parents who dream big. If you get a ho-hum response from your children about learning more about outer space, they may not actually have an interest in being an astronaut.
Try not to let your dreams overshadow theirs, and to support their interests even if it seems a little crazy to you. Even if your son doesn’t want to be a baker forever, the memories you have of pulling fresh cookies out of the oven with him will last both of you a lifetime. You can read more about encouraging your child’s interests in our ‘don’t stop dreaming when you wake up’ blog.
Screen time can be addictive, and even if your child really does have an interest in the activities you are inviting them to do, the draw of a screen can often be too much to resist. If your child won’t look up from a screen, distract them with one-on-one activities. They might not like it at first, but as they learn to spend more time engaging with you or another loved one, they may find it more fun and interesting than watching Spongebob reruns.
Showing your child how to make the most of the time in their life is far more important than almost anything else you can do. We only have one life on this Earth to live, and enjoying it is something we need to make a big priority.
books to encourage kids to navigate their lives
The following books will help reinforce this message. I am Amelia Earhart (Ordinary People Change the World) by Brad Meltzer is a biography of the famous female pilot and role model Amelia Earhart, that is sure to inspire your kids. Meltzer takes a fun approach in the telling of Earhart’s life from childhood to her success in her piloting career. All in a Day by Cynthia Rylant is a great book that shows the value and possibilities each day holds. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Be the Best You Can Be: Inspiring True Stories about Goals & Values for Kids & Preteens by Amy Newmark is a collection of stories that contain powerful messages that are beneficial to helping kids along their path in life.
Please enjoy this free Tot Tails coloring page to help share this message with your child.