My husband and I from the beginning of our marriage and blended family becoming one have made it a point to be sure the children were able to have some one on one time with each of us. There was no rhyme or reason to how we did this we would just kind of on a whim one of us would take one of the kids out for a meal or movie or something special that provided our undivided attention. While this was good we felt like we could be doing better, more focused and intentional on making this special parent and child time a priority.
So we came up with PAC time, Parent Child Time. At first I tried using ‘Power Hour’ but this was not well received and the name was changed right away. Apparently the boys and girls club has power hour for getting homework done.
‘They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing.’ Psalm 37:26
This is a set schedule we have, my PAC time is Tuesday evening after dinner and Matt’s is Thursday evening after dinner. We have an ongoing rotation with the kids so they each have some intentional one on one time. We rotate the kids through in a way that if one child is with me for their PAC time the next time it’s their turn it will be with Matt.
‘Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.’ Psalm 127:3
We do various things during our PAC times. However they typically involve some form of sweet for dessert 🙂
-milkshakes and Yahtzee at cookout
-sweet drink and playing cards at Starbucks
-peeps from dollar tree and putting together a puzzle
-sneaking off to new port news to indulge in warm Krispy Kreme donuts
-sweet frog and Walmart
-milkshake in the car while watching the light show outside Franktronics
– dessert at cookout and working on bible study for community group
These are a few of the fun times we have had and look forward to many more.
We have made this parent child time a priority. I think this is important for the kids to feel like we value our time with them and sacrificing this time each week with them is a reflection of this priority. Now there has been an occasional event scheduled on one of PAC time evenings so in that case we adjust and do the PAC time another night that same week. PAC time is not taken away as a punishment, it is a constant and not conditional.
The kids were a little skeptical of this whole PAC time idea at first. I think they waited for it to fall off as a temporary phase. But we are holding strong and have stuck with this for nearly 6 months now with every intention to keep this up. The kids have really come to look forward to this time. They save some important questions and topics to bring up and discuss during this time. They get excited and very much look forward to this time. It essentially breaks down to each of the kids getting PAC time twice a month. Even Richard who is five has really gotten excited about this, last week the first thing he said Thursday morning was” “yes PAC time tonight with Matt!.”
Now this I not always an easy task to accomplish each week. After a long day of getting everyone out of the door by 7am, a full workday, time at the gym or free clinic hours, dinner prep, baths and clean up it is next to impossible to muster up the extra energy to sneak out of the house with a child at 8pm and being deliberate and focused on them. But we do it, we with the Lord’s strength pull ourselves together and make this very purposeful and meaningful time with our children a priority. There have been evenings when it is next to impossible and painful to go back out in the cold, but in the end we are always very thankful we did.
‘Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.’ 1John 3:18
While we know that they truly enjoy this time now my prayer is that one day when they look back and reflect on their childhood they truly appreciate this. That this will be one of the things they remember well. That the time, energy and love we are pouring into these precious hours will have lasting impact on their tender hearts growing spirits.
‘Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of he Lord.’ Psalm 34:11
As we continue with our adventures of PAC time there are some minor ways we can expand on this purposeful time we are dedicating to our children. We can infuse more prayer and devotional time reflecting on and studying God’s word while we are enjoying our sweets and our time together. We do incorporate this on a smaller level but as I reflect on this time well spent I can see there is great potentional to expand on this and making and even more eternally lasting impression on our children’s minds hearts and souls through this time when we have their undivided focus and attention. We have successfully established this intentional time with our children we will continue with this and utilize this valuable time to teach God’s word, law and love through our PAC time.