It’s moving fast.

It’s limited.

We will never have more of it than we already have.

So the issue is not how do we get more, but how do we become more intentional about what we have?

How can we manage our time strategically to parent beyond our capacity?

How about taking a look at your family rhythm? Every family has one. Rhythm is how we arrange our time. As we go from day to day, we establish and shape a rhythm that in turn shapes our kids.  

Rhythm establishes value. Things that become part of the daily rhythm are the things our families will come to believe are most important. Rhythm silently but significantly communicates value.

There are some things that may be conceptually very important to us as parents, but if we never include them in our families’ rhythms, our kids will perceive them as having little value. For example, exercise might be important to a parent in principle, but if no one ever plays baseball in the backyard, takes a trip to the park, throws a Frisbee, jumps on a treadmill, or heads to a soccer field, why would the kids come to value exercise? If it’s not part of their rhythm, it’s not part of their reality. The same is true for faith. If you want to instill an everyday faith in your kids lives, you have to incorporate faith in the daily rhythm.

Every family rhythm is different, but on a basic level, everyone wakes up, eats, travels, and sleeps. In Deuteronomy 6, Moses taps into this natural rhythm when he encourages his people to nurture lasting faith in their kids. “Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

He was essentially saying, if you are going to impress these truths in the hearts of your children, you will have to be more deliberate about creating a rhythm within your home.

Have focused discussions during meal times.

Have playful and informal interactions while driving or walking.

Listen and have intimate conversations while tucking your kids in bed.

Encourage the hearts of your kids when you get up in the morning.

So think your family’s weekly rhythm. What does it look like?

Which nights do you tend to eat together?
What do you do when you first get home from work?
What is your nighttime routine to get ready for bed?
What do you do every Saturday morning?
How do you spend Sundays?

What can you do this week to be more intentional in your interactions with your kids during those moments?

Parents have an advantage when it comes to the issue of time. At least until your children are old enough to drive, you have a window of opportunity to maximize a relationship with your children by the way you handle time. The time you spend together as a family should be both interactive and intentional. When both are true, you increase the capacity and influence of your time with your kids.