I am a father of three children, ages 7, 13 and 15. I am the only driver in the house, so I am constantly on the go. I pick up and deliver kids to three different schools each day. There are sports practices and games all year round. Birthday party invites seem to come weekly, not to mention sleepovers and slumber parties. All of this makes family time a bit difficult.
There are times when I am forced to tell my teenagers, “No,” to doing something fun with their friends, so that we may have a night of family time. My daughter, who is now in high school, feels she misses out on a lot when I won’t allow her to go to a football game so that we can spend quality family time together. The thing is, she has no interest in the actual football game. I believe, in the end, she really enjoys hanging out watching movies and eating popcorn with her brothers.
My seven-year-old comes home with many birthday party invites. These are usually on the weekends when we have the chance to spend time together as a family. I can easily convince him to skip a party, as long as I come up with something fun to do as a family. There have been times where I have “accidentally” forgotten about the party. I usually don’t hear from him about it until after his first day back to school with his friends.
I just recently got to thinking about the last time we, as a family, took a vacation outside of the state of Missouri. I realized it had been six years. My youngest was one-year-old when we went to Disney World in Orlando. Yes, we take small trips to KC, St Louis, Branson, Jeff City, Columbia and Lake of the Ozarks, but they need to experience more.
I made the decision to plan and book a weeklong trip this December. The kids will have to miss four days of school, but I feel like it’s worth it. I will surprise them with this pre-Christmas trip, right before we are set to leave.
While there will always be the “fear of missing out” for our children, we as parents can turn those moments into “joys of missing out.”