Jerry Jenkins’ Secret to Good Parenting
Jim DalyJim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
- 2013 Oct 25
Chances are you’ve probably read a book by Christian author Jerry Jenkins. He’s written more than 180 books, 16 of which have landed on the New York Times bestseller list. His books include the Left Behind series, which has sold more than 63 million copies. His writing has appeared in Time, Reader’s Digest, Parade and Guideposts. In addition, Jenkins owns a filmmaking company, the Christian Writers Guild and he owns a publishing company.
Well, Jerry Jenkins sure seems like a busy man – most top professionals are. He might even sound like the type of person who would argue that, when it comes to parenting, “quality” time is more important than “quantity” time… right?
Back when he was just starting his career as a journalist, Jenkins had the opportunity to interview several older, successful businessmen. To his surprise, each of them said, “I wish I’d spent more time with my kids.” And these fathers weren’t sharing empty sentiment – they had good reasons for feeling that way.
Sadly, most of those businessmen were estranged from their children.
That struck a chord with Jenkins.
That’s why when his own kids were born, Jerry and his wife instituted a strict family policy. Although Jerry led a busy career, he chose to do no writing or office-related work of any kind from the time he got home in the afternoon until his three kids went to bed.
Instead, he would invest himself in his boys: feeding them, playing with them, reading with them, and tumbling with them on the floor.
Years later, Jerry’s oldest son, Dallas, sat with college teammates who were sharing sad regrets about their relationships with their fathers. But Dallas’ story was far different.
“I don’t have bad stories to share,” he said. “My dad was always there, and he always loved me.”
When it comes to the question about “quality time” versus “quantity time,” it sounds to me like quantity equals quality.