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To a Child Love is Spelled TIME (Tips from a Family Coach)

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To a child, love is spelled TIME

Updated Jan 19, 2023

Personal experience as a father 

Ever wondered why our children sometimes seem to be “unloving”?

So many parents miss this out. I should know because I had two grown up boys that I missed to guide because of my “lack of time” during my younger years as a teenage father.

I was a failure in the past in this area, but I know it's not yet too late for me to experience “Fatherhood.” By the grace of our creator, I was given another chance of becoming a father at my ripe age of 40s.


Being there for your child 

What we do not know is that our kids simply need us to be there for them.                They want us to be beside them when they run, when they fall, when they feel good, and when they feel bad.

Most parents thought that the way to raising their kids was by ensuring that they have a good future. This means having to work hard to ensure that they get the best possible thing we can provide. However, we tend to believe that just by working or running your business, you are already a good parent. We don't take the time to explain that what we are doing is for them because we think they won't understand.

What we do not know is that our kids simply need us to be there for them. They want us to be beside them when they run, when they fall, when they feel good, and when they feel bad.

  • Believe me, no child has ever thanked God for a beautiful toy without his father.  
  • No child has ever thanked God for a wonderful party at an expensive hotel without his Dad.  
  • No child has ever thanked God enough for an award in school without his parents being present.

picnic family time

Children equate love with time 

The time we spend so hard earning money for them, is actually the same time they crave from us.

In short, for kids, they measure love by the time we give to them.

The time we spend so hard earning money for them, is actually the same time they crave from us. They want to enjoy the things we have been trying to provide them– with us!

We need to find time to do even the following things:

  • Stroll with them
  • Play with them
  • Eat lunch with them
  • Cry with them
  • Laugh with them
  • Do foolish childish things with them

Find time to do things with your child

If we don't ever set aside time for these things, then we have missed out the most important definition of love for them. 

How they define love from what they experience from us, is most likely the same love they will show to their future family.

That is scary.  

The same Dad who goes to work early in the morning and goes home very late at night from a drinking spree with his work comrades because of career politics will be replicated.  The same mom who goes home late from the pressured work and overtime to help the family make ends meet. The child's definition of love will only be based on how we “demonstrated” it to them.

Don’t miss out on special moments 

Since this week is my children’s semestral break, I made sure to find time to spend with my daughter Airi in her exercise regimen and Aaron in his basketball training.

The feeling is so good to be able to connect to them. In their arena. In their level. I try to be more of a workout buddy and a playmate to them, rather than a scary and authoritative father who is always ready to correct and discipline them each time they make a mistake.

father and son basketball family time

This morning I had a great time playing basketball with my son. It was great not because he was very good, it was great because I saw and discovered his areas for improvement. He was so unhappy and had a lot of complaints about things making his game really, really lousy.

I then had a chance to coach him and explain to him “principles” that I know he will be needing as he grows up. He was actually complaining about the sun and how it is making it hard for him to play properly.

I pointed out to him how most successful basketball players played under the heat of a 12 noon sun (living in a tropical country, noon here is really hot).  

I told him that no reason can go the way of someone who is so willing to learn and be the best in whatever he wants to achieve. No sun, no rain, no nothing!

I also shared with him my teenage days when I was so involved with body building. I would go home from work (got married at 19 yrs old) at 11pm and would go straight to the gym about 12 midnight and be the only one working out until about 1am.  While everyone is sleeping, I am doing what I love doing!

This is what I was talking about! Fathers who are not around miss this chance of “being there” when they are hurt or when they feel bad about things. Or simply when they have wrong ideas or attitudes, which can eventually hamper their potential to be the successful person they were designed to be.

Reasons why you need to spend time with your child

I may not be a perfect father, but I sure know the right buttons to press that can create a difference in their lives. I learned it through time. I learned it through failures, pain and frustrations. The good news is, we serve a God of second chances. He gave me another round to make up with things. I am not going to mess this up again.

Next time you think about love for your children, think about the quality of time you spent with them. 

My friends, next time you think about LOVE for your children, think about the QUALITY of TIME you spent with them.  

Not only in their good times, but in their lousiest and craziest moments.

We will only pass this way once. Our children will be children for a very short few years of our lives. Let us make sure we do not miss it…the effect is passed on from generation to generation.

Let us make sure we define it right!

Love is time. Time is love.

Until my next blog…HAVE A BLESSED LIFE AHEAD!

Special Thanks to my daughter Airi for proofreading. She is really an awesome lady!

Kiko Javier
Family Coach

Set Time For Children


  1. Why is love spelled as time for children?

For most parents, providing their children with quality education and buying them the “essentials” is how they express their love and concern. Not to mention working hard to give their kids a brighter future. But to children, when their parents spend time or play with them is when they feel loved. Children think simply. Not seeing their parents translates to not having time for them which means their parents don't love them. So don’t get too worked up in giving your child a promising future when all they want is you.

  1. How do I show love for my child?

Often, as parents, we think we are fully expressing our love to our children. But in reality, it’s quite tricky since even if we feel we’ve given much already, our kids still feel unloved. So how do you show them in a way that they will feel it?

  • Listen to your kids when they talk
  • Join them in their playtime or watch their next football game
  • Give your kids equal attention
  • Never deny them hugs or words of praise and affection
  • Block off a day (ex. Sundays) for family or activity time
  • Value their thoughts by asking for their opinion
  • Allow them to make mistakes

How to show love for your child

  1. How can I spend quality time with my kids?

There are many ways for you to spend quality time with your kids. It doesn’t have to be as grand as going on a vacation. But it needs your 100% time and attention. You can start off by having daily walks or runs with them or try baking or cooking their favorite dish. Help them clean up their room, and on some days, try out the activities they like or play their games. You can also encourage them to learn a new skill like swimming, doing arts and crafts, or playing the piano. There is so much more to experience with your kids, but the most important is to be there for them, especially when they feel bad

To a child, love is spelled time


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  • Nunita99
    February 21, 2022

    Great ideas here!


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