I quite like the sound of ‘Olly Appreciation Day’, or maybe I’d settle for a simple ‘Football Teams With Yellow Shirts Awareness Week’.
It’s fair to say that a proliferation of PR-hungry pressure groups have created their own fast-growing empire of awareness days/weeks/months. It’s something that usually riles me, but when one crops up in support of an issue that I care a bit about my attitude can suddenly change.
So, as a parenting blogger the revelation that I stumbled across this lunchtime of the fast-approaching Parents’ Week has led me to dust of The P Word’s long-neglected dashboard and click ‘New post’.
The strapline associated with this year’s Parents’ Week is ‘Make a Moment’, which gives it a focus which I can really get my teeth into.
As a Christian bloke, I was a little bit proud that the Church of England has thrown its own weight behind Parents’ Week with a special prayer from the Bishop of Oxford. If you want, you can even listen to the Bish read his own prayer aloud.
The words of that prayer raise a couple of interesting points, which apply to all parents whether you choose to pray or not:
‘Thank you for … what they [our kids] give us as they explore life’
The adventures that our children will take us on is fun – it’s full of life, laughter and tears. If we let them.
It’s all too easy to take the adventure out of life, for ourselves as well as our offspring. Sometimes our own laziness, or perhaps just sheer exhaustion, will quickly reduce the experience of life to the lowest common denominator that we can all handle as a family.
For my own family it’s usually the TV screen that teeters on the brink of hogging too much of our precious time. My kids probably watch more TV than the textbooks suggest to allow, which most of the time I’m happy with because it helps us all rest and unwind. However, sometimes we get a bit close to allowing the TV to restrict opportunities for adventure and exploration. So that’s my personal challenge – what’s yours?
‘Help us to slow down, to pause and make a moment’
Slow down. Really, in 2012?! Life is meant to be run at full pelt, isn’t it? Oh. Good advice, Mr Prayer Author.
As far as our kids are concerned, time really is of the essence. Time is the root of so many things we (me included!) do wrong as parents. It is also the root of so much that we do right. Without spending time together we are not living as a family, merely a disparate group of individuals who happen too live under the same roof. But if we make a bit of effort to spend as much time with our children as we can (as well as leaving a bit of time to sleep, work, clean, eat, etc.) the rewards can be immense.
But heed the Bishop’s own podcast-ed confession. He admits to regretting not giving his own children the time to make more moments and create more memories together as a family. It’s fast becoming a cliché (probably already repeated on this blog as well!) but how many children grow up and say ‘I wish my parents had spent less time with me as a child’?
So, why not do what the Rt Rev says and ‘make a moment’ with your kid(s) this Parents’ Week.
And the week after that.
And every week next month.
And every week next year.