>> September 15, 2010
Even when they get the same amount of time with Dad that other kids do, PKs are often under a different amount of pressure and expectations than other kids. Which means that intentional, quality time with Dad is even more important.
Last year, we posted about a research study on why PKs leave the church. Two of the biggest factors are:
- unreasonable behavioral expectations just because their daddy is the pastor, and
- lack of family relationality at home.
One big way, is to make sure each child gets individual quality time with their PD. I read one parenting book that said "dad should never leave the house without taking a child along". Obviously, that doesn't work all the time, but it's a great idea. Gotta run a household errand? Take a kid with you. Gotta go to church early? Take a kid with you.
One of my PH's ultimate childhood memories is about times like this with his dad, who wasn't a pastor but taught a study class at church each weekend. They lived in Communist Romania, where Christianity wasn't exactly a popular choice. Every weekend, rain or snow or shine, he and his daddy would walk two miles to church early in the morning, without his mom or sisters. He got to sit and listen to the teachers discuss and prepare for their classes before everyone else arrived.
His father died when my PH was only 14, and those little boy memories of going to church at dawn with daddy are deeply cherished.
Another way to increase family relationships is to have a sacred family day every week. Nothing gets in the way, not meetings, not phone calls, not emails, not sermon prep. It is so special that nothing short of fire, flood or death will keep Daddy away. Let the kids decide what to do on Family Day sometimes. Plan special outings, or just stay home and play games on the living room floor. What you do together doesn't matter so much as the doing of it.
Besides regular weekly family days (or at least half-days), try having daddy put each child on his calendar for a actual date - at least once a month. It can be for just an hour, but during that time daddy's phone is turned off and his attention is focused on that one child for the entire time.
Got more great ideas? How do YOU keep your family connected? Leave a comment!
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