When your children leave home, it takes a while to get use to the silence and walking past immaculate rooms. What I miss most, however, is the peaceful feeling I use to have when I’d go to bed at night and I knew that all my children were safe and sound under one roof. This has probably been the hardest thing for me to get use to, the not knowing where my children are at all times and having to tell myself it’s okay, that they will be all right.

When you’re raising children, you don’t think about all these things. You’re so busy and stressed out that sometimes you don’t stop to enjoy them. You spend a lot of time thinking about when they get older.

When my sons were born, I was in my twenties. When my daughter was born, I was thirty-five and raising her was very different. I not only knew what to expect but had already experienced my son’s childhood and understood how quickly time goes by. I was more willing to let her enjoy being a child and not in a rush to watch her grow up.

My children are all grown and now I am a grandmother of three handsome boys. Once again I find myself wishing I could somehow control the speed of life, wanting to stretch every moment I spend with my grandsons.

The time you spend with your children is never wasted. Sometimes, because you have so many things to do, you may think that playing with them or cuddling on the sofa is doing nothing. But these are truly the moments that will define your relationship with your children. These uneventful family moments will bring you closer and, as your children grow, will strengthen your relationship.

Your children are connected to you by an invisible thread of love that guides them through life and always brings them home. Your home becomes sacred grounds where they can return to to share their lives. This holiday season make time to enjoy your children. Give them your love and attention, because that is all they really need.

Maria Luisa Salcines is a freelance writer, and certified parent educator with The International Network for Children and Families in Redirecting Children’s Behavior and Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom. Follow her on Twitter @PowerOfFamily or contact her at her Web site at www.redirectingchildrenrgv.org.