Monday, November 3, 2008

Are You All There?

We are a generation that has learned to multi-task. From simple tasks, such as folding clothes while gabbing on the phone, to dangerous ones, like texting while driving, most of us are do-ers, and we feel compelled to be busy.

However, when it comes to parenting, children need our undivided attention. They are watching us, and they derive much of how they feel about themselves by gauging how we feel about them through our actions.

This past summer, I saw a first: a dad was sitting on the bleachers with his laptop open while his son played baseball. He wasn't all there, was he? Glued to a screen, he may have physically been present as his son pitched four innings of a great game, but he wasn't THERE.

While it's easy to fault a parent who so obviously had his attention divided, we do it in small ways everyday. Sitting at a computer while nodding obliviously to a child who is chattering away, or chatting on the phone with a friend while sitting down to lunch with your three-year-old--you might be there, but you're not all there.

Give your child all of you today. Look in her eyes when she talks. Enjoy a snack together, with no interruptions. Take a walk and look at the beautiful autumn leaves--leaving your cell phone at home. Be all there for your child today!

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