This past weekend I was on the road promoting Warriors Tending Gardens, and I took two of my sons with me. We finished four audio books during our 16+ hours in the car.
This is not an article about how your kids are able to benefit from adult books on family, marriage, work, wealth, and engaging people, but I’d like to quickly mention that kids are capable of understanding much more than we give them credit for.
One of the books we listened to was Ploductivity: A Practical Theology of Work and Wealth by Douglas Wilson. In general, Mr. Wilson packs his books with more conviction per page than any author I can think of, but what his daughter, Rebekah Merkle, said in the foreword on page 4 rocked me to the core. She spoke of her father’s many accomplishments — growing a church, starting a school, a magazine, and then a college while also authoring more than 100 books — but then she said:
“He has never been too busy for his kids. Growing up, he always had a book in his hand — but whenever we wandered out and said, ‘Hey Dad…’ he would immediately set his book down and give us his full attention.”
This hit me hard, because I know this is not what my daughter would write about me given my current behaviors. There is so much to work to be done and many things that distract me from what matters — my kids! Why is it so hard to stop and give them my full attention?
I bought the hard copy of the book, read the foreword again, and highlighted the words “he has never been too busy for his kids.” I am committed to doing better — as He enables — NOW! Tonight, I read the words to the kids as they lay sprawled about on our bed. I told them that my work requires me to be on the phone a lot, but that I was committed to stopping whatever I was doing when they wanted to talk to me. To get my attention and allow me to wrap up whatever I’m working on, I instructed them to come up to me and put their arm around me. For now, I see that as the most effective way to quietly and effectively get my attention. We’ll see how it goes.
Are you showing your kids (and wife) they matter to you, or are you swatting them away like flies? It’s not too late! Call a meeting, make a plan, and see what happens!