As parents we all want nurture a strong relationship with our kids. I love this sure-fire way to build a deeper bond with your children! It’s not that hard when you know what is truly important.
We live in a fast paced world. Some refer to it as the Age of Information and in many ways that is true. Our technology now allows us to access seemingly unlimited information anytime, anyplace. Still in many ways I think this period of history is better described as the Age of Distraction.
Parents have always had to deal with distractions. In my grandparent’s day the worries and events of the war cast its shadow over many families.
My parents had to deal with the novel distractions of technology such as television and the telephone.
Still in recent years the sheer volume of distractions families face on a daily basis is phenomenal.
Life is busy
Have you noticed how busy we are these days? Parents desperately try to juggle extra curricula activities, jobs, household commitments, and the constant beeping of ever connected mobile devices.
We are overwhelmed with a veritable blur of multitasking activity. No wonder we are tired! No wonder we are distracted!
But at what cost? I’d like to share with you a short video with a powerful message. Take a a few minutes to listen. If you can’t see the video you can find it here.
Want to build a deeper bond with your children?
As parents we all want to build deeper bonds with our children. It’s actually not that hard when you know what is truly important to your kids. What our children really want from us is our time and attention.
Take a moment and reflect on two questions
- When I am with my family am I fully present with them?
- When I am with my family am I paying attention?
Sarah from the Left Brained Buddha describes our distracted state beautifully
“For often, we are not wholly present in the moment. This is it, but we are often mentally a thousand miles away from it, wrapped up in regrets, memories, worries, or daydreams…. We play with our children, and when they ask, “Right, Mommy?”, we realize we haven’t really been listening.”
Oh boy does that ever sound familiar. How many times have I found myself with one of my boys distractedly saying, “Uh huh,”….”Oh”… “Right” … Really? And then realized I hadn’t actually heard a single word of the conversation.
How sad! What treasures did I miss? What message did I send? What could possibly be more important?
Yes our jobs, household responsibilities, paying bills and maybe even e-mails are important. Still as the mother of three grown children let speak from my own experience.
The distractions will always be there, but your children will not
Before you know it they will go out into the world and your relationship with them will completely change. Don’t get me wrong I love the time I spend with my adult children, but I miss having them around. I miss their noise and clutter around the house.
And I regret all the moments I missed, because I was too distracted (or too busy) to be fully present.
I really wish I had put MY schedule, MY business and MY agenda aside a little more often.
Ohh how I wish I had been paying attention every second I was with them.
I know that as much as we love our children we can’t spend every waking moment with them; after we all have stuff to do.
Still when you are with your children try to be fully present. Don’t miss those precious moments with your family. They will notice that your attention is elsewhere and you will miss out on so much together.
So whether you are driving your children somewhere, playing with them, going for a walk together or catching up at the end of the day turn off the phone and practice being attentive.
Be conscious of the how your child’s hand feels in yours or the smile on your teens face as they tell you something funny.
I know – it’s a lot easier said than done. We don’t live in a culture that encourages this kind of mindfulness. Still if you can manage it even for a few moments a day you will see a difference in your realtionship with your children.
Looking for some simple ways to spend time with your family?
The activities in the book don’t require much preparation, in fact many of them require NONE at all. Some require a few materials and a little planning, although not too much I promise.
Are you sometimes distracted from fully living in the moment? What helps you stay focused on the present?