I want to introduce you to my 7-year-old, Teagan.
I was working on a big project in my home office on a Friday afternoon. Teagan and her sister stopped by every few minutes with another request, question, or just to tell me a story. They were eager for the weekend to start and to begin enjoying family time.
I really needed to get the project done before the weekend’s deadline, and I also didn’t want to continue to delay our family night. Every Friday night is movie night, with pizza and a movie of our choice, which I know is important to our girls — and to my wife and me.
I asked Teagan if I could teach her something — the 5 Gears. And what followed is what you’re about to read.
At the end, she said, “so if I can let you get your project done now, we’ll be able to get to family night sooner?”
Later that night, I pulled out my phone at the dinner table. Teagan quickly said, “I thought this was family time.”
“It is,” I said, and I slid the phone back into my pocket.
Not thirty minutes later, I was pushing her on the swings in the backyard, and I pulled out my phone to check something.
“I thought this was date time,” she said.
She got it, and she put it into action so fast. And it changed our night.
All because of simple, shared language. A common vocabulary and a visual idea.
We leave a lot of vacation days on the table, believing work cannot go on without us.
We stay home but are distracted, even with those we love and care for most.
We want to believe something different.
We want to believe nothing is more important than these years with our kids. This is one job that uniquely belongs to each of us.
I hope the Gears for Families will help you make the most of the minutes and days you have.