You don’t have to spend huge amounts of money to have a meaningful family life. Children love the most simple, repetitive kinds of activities.
They want to be read the same stories hundreds of times and hear the same jokes long after they’ve heard the punch lines. These interactions with parents are often more fun than expensive toys or special events. A friend of mine once asked his grown children what they remembered most fondly from their childhood. Was it the vacations they took together or the trips to Disney World or the zoo? No, they told him. It was when he would get on the floor and wrestle with the four of them. They would gang-tackle the “old man” and laugh until their sides hurt. That’s the way children think. The most meaningful activities within families are often those that focus on that which is spontaneous and personal.
This is why you can’t buy your way out of parenting responsibilities, though many have tried. Busy and exhausted mothers and fathers, especially those who are affluent, sometimes attempt to pay off their deprived kids with toys, cars, and expensive experiences. It rarely works. What boys and girls want most is time spent with their parents—building things in the garage or singing in the car or hiking to an old shing pond. No toy, to be played with alone, can ever compete with the enjoyment of such moments. And those moments will be remembered for a lifetime.
Dr. Dobson's Handbook of Family Advice
Backed by more than four decades of counseling experience, Dr. Dobson provides a quick-access collection of advice on nurturing your marriage and children with love, grace, and biblical preparedness. Topics include boundaries, communication, discipline, divorce, forgiveness, health and safety, money, single parenting, self-esteem and self-respect, stress, and much more.