Some Things Money Can't Buy

I was watching this video my friend Jen posted this morning and it reminded me that there are some things money can’t buy.  In today’s society many people work very hard for their next raise, promotion, or opportunity. Obviously supporting a family should be a priority, but what our kids need most from us is not our money, it is our time.

A good way to find out what your kids think your priorities are is to ask them what they think you like to do the most. How would they answer that question: would it be talking on the phone, watching television, cooking, crafting, taking pictures, spending time on the computer, or would it be spending time with your family?

With some hesitation I decided to ask my children this question on camera. I didn’t tell them the question ahead of time, I just called them in the room and told them to be honest. This is what they said:

My littlest one said I like cleaning up the most. I will admit I definitely love a clean home, but I don’t want that to be what my daughter thinks is most important to me. Obviously I have some work to do is this area.

Time with your children is FREE. It costs nothing to read a book, play a game, take a walk, tell a story, color a picture, make a blanket fort, or look for bugs. The best part is that even though it is free, there is an amazing return on your investment. Ask your kids what they think is most important to you.  It might be time to diversify your investment.

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  1. Well, despite the fact that my kids – younger than yours – will probably say more along the lines of cleaning/cooking, you’ve obviously made some good impressions on the older ones! And as they get older they can see some things are more necessity than “like” to do! Hm. You’re making me think. I’ll have to ask them tomorrow.

  2. I’m scared to ask… What a simple, powerful post!

  3. Ooh, great post and great idea. I would benefit a lot from hearing what my kids had to say on this.

  4. Wow! You’re brave. I’m almost afraid to ask! I might do it though. Yikes!

  5. Well, I thought my kids would say “contests and giveaways”, but my oldest said I love being with my kids most, and also makeup. So I guess that’s good…

  6. 🙂 wonderful post! I love the HUGE smile on the oldest girl face!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
    You are truly a great example to me, Thank you for that! 🙂

  7. wow…. profound. my son is not quite 3, so i don’t know if he could answer that question yet, but i have no doubt the answer wouldn’t be what i want it to be. my guess is that he would say “being on the computer.” NOT how i want him to remember me! thank you for reminding me to prioritize my time!
    at least your older two see the good ways you spend your time!

  8. What a humbling, illuminating experiment. I may try it… Or not. 🙂

    I do wonder, though, that by a certain age kids are already thinking in terms of what would please mom and what she would want to hear. I could see my 7yo thinking like that, anyway. I still think I would learn a lot by asking. I’m just afraid what that would be! Talk about cutting to the core of your priorities.

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      I think that at a certain age some kids would want to say what would make the mom pleased with them. My daughter in the video is a pleaser- so I am sure her answer was influenced by wanting to make me happy. But- kids also live in the moment, and since this week we have done a lot of singing and praying that was probably what was in the front of her mind. My son however doesn’t care much what people think, so I felt his answer was probably more honest. I think you have to take into consideration the age of your children, their personalities, and a few other factors when talking to them. If you want a REAL honest answer ask your teenagers! They are pretty good at sharing the truth, or at least their perspective of the truth.

  9. Amen on asking the teenagers….ugh! I would be a little nervous to ask any of my kids. Great post and great reminder!

  10. Somebody's Mimi says:

    We have a friend that took their children to Disney World for vacation. When they got home they asked their children what was their favorite thing at Disney World… they said the popcorn!! I love the honesty of children… most of the time. Great post!

  11. I’m so impressed that the others mentioned church and prayer! You must have a joyful attitude about church!

  12. I was touched by this post. What a lovely idea! Since my husband deployed in February, I have been making an effort to put small rituals in place, like a walk together or working on the garden. Basically, making his waking hours as nice as they can be, without me peeking from my laptop!

  13. What a wonderful, but powerful post. I’d be a bit afraid of what my oldest would say (youngest is too young to ask) … but I just might anyway!

  14. Um yeah, I have some work to do, priorities to rearrange. Without a doubt my 13 year old would tell me my favorite thing to do would be blogging.

  15. Your kids are precious. I’m off to ask my son now : )

  16. Great post! I was scared to ask my 5yo… he said “Cooking food and hugging me.” That makes me happy, sure, but I am also very aware of how easily he could have mentioned the computer… 🙁

  17. Thank you so much for this powerful message. I was NOT happy with what my children said. coupons, sleeping, being on the computer. I’m not known for being warm & fuzzy, and so, this is something I want to change.

    but the most EYE OPENING thing was, we went around the table and had each of us (we are 7) say what we thought the other liked to DO. my 5 year old said his father likes to spank him (um, WHAT?). my 9 yo son said his 16 yo sister likes to hate him. . again. what??? I think it gave each of us a LOT to think about.

    Thank you.

  18. Great idea! I’ve wondered what they think and how they view me, but I’ve never ASKED them. Thanks! I’m totally going to do that!

  19. This is a wonderful, thought-provoking post. I decided to ask my 3-year-old that same question on-camera.

    I asked, “What do you think mommy likes to do most of all?”

    She skipped around and said, “Reading.” And then, “Going to Walmart.”

    I think I’ll have to discount the answers though because we’ve only been to Walmart once in her entire life and…I hate Walmart! 😉

    (I do, however, like reading).

    I’ll try it again when she’s a bit older…

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