What Kids Need the Most!

A Riddle for You:

What is more precious than gold
but cannot be bought, earned or saved?
The more you have of it,
the less treasured it is,
and no matter how much of it we get,
we always end up wanting more.

(Try to answer before reading on.)

During our discussion time in my Moms Group this past week, our table got pretty deep with our thoughts and feelings about what our kids need from us. We were asked the question, If you had one year to live, what would you change about the way you spent your time? This question brought up a lot of things. We all concurred, that with our busy schedules, we try to fit so many things into our day. We all agreed that making time for our kids is so important, especially during the first five years of their livesโ€ฆbecause these are their formidable years.

Our talk got a little morbid, in that I told the group, I have had a few girlfriends who have passed on and have left their babies behind. I often think about that and treat my kids as if I were to be gone tomorrow. The thought of us not being able to watch our kids grow up and not being a part of their lives brought a lot of emotion and tears to our table time. It was refreshing in a way, because it allowed us to reevaluate our priorities. When you treat people as if you may not ever see them again, you tend to be more present and you really appreciate your time with them more. It was an eye-opener.

The following day, my six year old woke up with a tummy ache.

She said she did not feel like going to school.
We did the usual battery of questions, took her temperature, gave her Saltine crackers, and lots of hugs.
After she ate a hearty breakfast, she looked really great and she was even smiling and laughing.
I kept giving her the option of hustling to get ready so she could still catch the bus with her sister.
She danced around the issue and insisted that she still wanted to stay home.
My instincts told me that she was perfectly ok to go to school.
They also told me she needed and wanted to be home with me for whatever reason,
so I let her.

We snuggled and read and went outside for some sunshine.
We watched TV and ate and talked together.
It was a special Mommy/Daughter day that we both will remember fondly.

The Answer to the riddle above is TIME

The point of this story is this: Kids spell Love T-I-M-E

If your kids need a little extra special time with you, and if your schedule permits it, then you should by all means spend time with that little one who is craving closeness with you. Its so easy to brush our children to the side of our huge To-Do listsโ€ฆbut we will never get this day or this time in their lives back. To be fully present and enjoy the ride, sometimes we have to get off our schedule and seize the moment.

Our table time reversed the topic and we talked about how we would feel if we lost one of our children and how we would ever go on with our lives. We all agreed that it would be the hardest thing in the world to deal with. That discussion made us all feel even more convicted about needing to be present with our kids. We need to not take our time with them for granted. We need to spend more time with them and enjoy the good and the bad situations that come with parenting. We talked about how awful those parents who have lost a child must constantly feel, especially if their last words to their children were harsh or unloving.

Here are some things I try to do on a daily basis: I try to really listen to them. I look into their eyes and watch them in amazement. I kiss them all the time. I hug them a lot. I always send them off to school with hugs, kisses, and positive and loving words. I ask about their day and their feelings and their little lives, and listen in awe.

This time with them is a gift that I try not to take for granted, because we never know when something tragic could change all that. They are a miracle and true beauty to me.

What would I do without them?

Take Action: This week and moving forward, lets be ever present with our children. Lets act as if we may not have tomorrow with them. Lets cherish every aspect of their little beings and make sure they know they are unconditionally lovedโ€ฆnot just by our words, but by our actions as well. Lets vow to never leave them with harsh words from our mouths.

Because Together is Better,


  1. Wendy Gazo says:

    Thanks for this very important reminder! What a great way to spend the day with your daughter!

  2. Love this message, Deanna! I live each day like it was my last. Not in a morbid way either, but in a grateful way! At the end of the day I know I made it the best day with my girls and hubby. My favorite memories growing up were the few that included all the members of my family together somewhere. The memory of the place is fuzzy, but the feeling of my family together is very strong. We spend so much time and money coming up with fancy vacations to go on, but we often take for granted the daily small opportunities to be together. Like the talks in the car on the way to school, for example, trips to the grocery store, or just sitting on the couch together as a family. This is the time, when they are young enough, to create those memories with them on a daily basis. We are almost always together as a family and I think that makes us a strong family unit. So, yes, time, and especially family time, is what I think kids need.

  3. Words to live by indeed! And I will toss this into the mix as well: Like so many other aspects of “giving”, when we give our time to our kids – WE receive the biggest payoff!

  4. Steph Whitley says:

    Great post

  5. WOW! I looooooooove this article, so great ๐Ÿ™‚ I love it when my son climbs up in my lap while I;m working, I ALWAYS stop what I’m doing and spend time with him ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s so easy to give our kids time. Most of the time, they only want a few minutes and then they’re off to the next thing. But when you push them away (when all they wanted was a tiny minute) you’re sending HUGE messages that you dont want to send. Great article!

    • Robin, this is so true! Usually they move on to something else pretty quickly. If we stop and smell the roses, we both win! Thank you for your comment! -Deanna

  6. This came to mind as i was waking my daughter up this morning. After i thought she was awake enough to start her day, i started barking out instructions and giving her a rundown of what the morning and the day would look like. Mommy and Daddy were on a tight schedule today, and we each had our agenda that we needed our 6 year old daughter to cater to. I began to see her little mouth turn down in a look I know so well. Then the tears started to well up in her eyes. Without saying a word, she was telling me “slow down mom, I just woke up, I’m a little groggy and i can’t process everything on your schedule right now, just hold me for a moment and take the time to sit with me as i wake up.” So I did!! So important to pick up on those cues that your child just needs you. I try so hard to remember that everyday. Thanks D:)

    • Gigi, I love that you read her and acted on it. It is so very easy to rush through our busy schedules while pushing our kids to the side. If we are present and loving to these sweet peas our regrets will be few. Thank you for your contribution here! -Deanna

  7. Our table time reversed the topic too and we talked about anything ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. This was a beautiful piece! Our children are blessings from the heavens and should be treated as such.


  9. My wife would say that I also spell “Love” T-I-M-E. I love being with my family and do all that I can to support them and be with them. It can be tricky, but is so well worth it. Thanks for the post. A blog post like this can really help someone focus on what is most important.

  10. Well said! Lovely post!

  11. Your are exactly correct. My kids love just kicking it with their dad.

  12. Thank You so much for this reminder. It is so easy yo get caught up in everyday life.

  13. What a beautiful story with such a heartfelt message. Really enjoyed your input on this issue…I agree that it seems everyone is too busy to stop and spend real time with others anymore and it’s really a sad threat for humanity. Way to bring the message to the spotlight and empower us to stand in our authentic being.

  14. What a great article. I am a mother of 3 and try very hard to be present with my children. I agree we are only here for a short time and you never know when your time is up. I get very teary eyed thinking about what if it was my time. I have seen a few of my friends with children lose their life, and it breaks my heart. Family is everything and I love mine more each day.

    • Thank you Betsy for your powerful words…I get emotional thinking of that too…a great reminder to enjoy each and every moment! -Deanna

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