Do you spend enough time with your children? This question haunts many busy parents, including me. It is based on the assumption that the more time we put in today, the better off they will be in the future. Research challenges this assumption. It’s how you spend your time together, not how much, that has the biggest impact. Quality time counts more than quantity.

It takes a lot to raise a child but as Regina Brett beautifully points out, boy, is it worth it:

“What do you get for your money? Naming rights. First, middle and last. Glimpses of God every day. Giggles under the covers every night. More love than your heart can hold. Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs. A hand to hold, usually covered with jam …”

Make the moments count this Mother’s Day and every day.

1. At least twice a day you must always do these three things: wash your face, brush your teeth wash your hands.

2. Family includes all the people who genuinely love you and care for you unconditionally.

3. Stand tall and sit up straight.

4. Everyone has flaws. Nobody is perfect. That is why I will teach you about science and your father will teach you how to drive.

5. When in doubt, wear a nice dress.

6. Always use your manners.

7. The point of exercise is to be healthy and to have fun.

8. Never begin a question with “this may sound dumb but….”

9. Your heart will be broken but that does not mean you will be.

10. Love alone is not enough. You have to work at it.

11. Your GPA isn’t a reflection of your value or actual intelligence.

12. Treat everyone you meet with respect. There is no difference between the janitor and the boss.

13. You cannot make someone love you.

14. Be generous and tip big.

15. Never underestimate the power of looking good.

16. Wear sunscreen, even in the winter.

17. You do not have to always be nice, but please always be kind.

18. People will let you down. Forgive them and move on.

19. Say what you mean. No beating around the bush.

20. Remember this: science is really cool.

21. Put thought into all gifts.

22. Be nimble. Give yourself permission to change and adapt.

23. Sleep is the best beauty treatment.

24. At least once a week, do something that feels “un-you.”

25. Practice the art of listening.

26. Have a bad day backup plan.

27. Seek advice but make your own decisions.

28. Make time for your friends and family.

29. When you have an opinion, always have a reason for it. “Because” doesn’t count.

30. Do not take medical advice from the internet.

31. Send a hand-written letter once a week to someone you love. A postcard counts.

32. Cultivate purpose by doing things for others and with others.

33. Learn how to change your own tires.

Happy Mother’s Day!