Choosing money over time can kill your relationships with your kids. It also won’t teach your kids to be self-sufficient.
The traditional family model pushes men to provide for their families. It suggests that we share our love by making more money and buying more stuff for our kids. But that model fails to consider the long-term effects. Choosing money over time can kill your relationships with your kids. It also won’t teach your kids to be self-sufficient.
I don’t fit into the traditional family model. I’m a single dad with full custody of a ten-year-old girl. It’s a tough gig, but I’ve made a point to sacrifice my income to spend more time with my daughter. In the end, I believe this strategy will pay off for both of us. Here’s why.
- I’ll be there for my daughter’s emotional needs: Girls need their father’s attention. Often, girls without a positive male role model in their lives get into trouble in their teens. By being emotionally available for my daughter, it’s more likely that she’ll become stronger emotionally.
- I’m creating positive memories to last a lifetime: If you’re always busy working, you aren’t creating memories for your kids and yourself. My dad was a good man, but he spent a lot of time away from home. I’ve made a point to spend time with my daughter even if it means sacrificing extra income. The memories we create will live forever.
- I’m teaching my daughter the value of relationships: If you want your kids to have good relationships with others, you need to set the example. If you’re always off making money, you’re not spending quality time with your kids. I want my daughter to have successful relationships later in life, especially with the man she chooses to spend her life with. That’s why it’s imperative that I spend the time teaching her the value of relationships now.
- I’m teaching my daughter that love is more important than money: We all die in the end. We can’t take our money with us. Nobody says, “I wish I would have made more money,” when they die. More often, people say things like, “I wish I would have spent more time with my loved ones,” or “I wish I would have had a better relationship with my kids.” Do it now. Show your children that love is more important than money.
- When the time comes, my daughter will be ready to fly: This might be the best reason to put time over money. I could get a better job. I could work overtime. I could make more money. I could buy my daughter more stuff. I could spoil her. But how would that be preparing her for her future? I want my daughter to learn how to work hard. I want her to become independent. I can spend my time instilling her with solid values by working less. It’ll be worth its weight in gold in the end.
If you’re a dad who works a little too much, I encourage you to find ways to cut back on work and spend more time with your kids. You’ll be setting them up to be more successful. You’ll be teaching them the value of hard work. You’ll be the role model for their future relationships.
When it comes to your kids, choose time over money. It’s priceless.
Photo: Flickr/ Angelo Ghigi