My wife and I believe wholeheartedly that kids spell love T-I-M-E.  As they are growing up, they want our presence much more than they want our presents.  Long after we've forgotten being at a business meeting or a social event, our kids remember if we were at their dance recital, or sporting event or school play. Therefore, my wife and I purposefully and intentionally write our kids' events on our calendars, just like we would do any other scheduled event.  When something may pose a challenge to us being with our kids, we simply say, "Oh, I'm sorry.  I already have something else scheduled during that time."  Of course, we know it's with our kids.  We don't have to tell anyone else that.  But we know.  More important, THEY know!

Kids spell love T-I-M-E.  Trust me, they really do!