For all the parents, or to be parents out there. Do you ever have those times when you come back from work, or your kids come to your work, but you’re incredibly busy and you don’t truly acknowledge them? That happened to me this past week. I want to share three things with you.
- My Scenario ~ see if you can relate
- What I’m going to change
- An old video I found that relates to this topic
I was at work this weekend, in the midst of a busy set up. Teams of people were working all around me, I was directing traffic and in the midst of some important task..or at least it seemed important at the time. Naomi brought the kids, because we were going to have breakfast together in a few short minutes. Judah, my son, saw me in the hall, ran to me, I quickly gave him a high-five and went back to my tasks. A little later I saw him standing by my wife, head hanging low and he seemed legitimately sad. I asked Naomi what was wrong, and Judah went on to inform me that I didn’t really “see” him. (At least that’s how I understood our conversation) I only quickly high-fived him, didn’t say anything and walked away. Conviction slapped me across the face and I quickly apologized and made things right with my son. But It was an important lesson and reminder for me when it comes to parenting. Our actions, or lack of them, speak life and death into our children. I think an important parenting lessons is the instant you see your child, after a time away, be fully present with them and acknowledge them.
Parenting Tips To Engage With Your Child (What I am trying to do more consistently)
- Hug them ~ Stop, whatever you are doing and give them a hug. There is power in human contact.
- Tell them ~ verbally reinforce your hug with words of affirmation
- Show them ~ As soon as you see them, make sure your face shows how happy you are to see them. Your face is the first thing they see. Do they see annoyance, or great joy at you seeing them. It better be a smile!
Results of Better Engagement:
- Acceptance ~ We all want acceptance. No more so than your children, and they need it from you. Your child will have a renewed sense of acceptance. This is something that needs to be reminded on a daily basis
- Confidence ~ Beyond verbal affirmation, I think a great deal of confidence comes from appropriate physical affection. My son is a different young man when he gets a true hug from his dad. I just see him walk with a little more purpose and confidence. Its bizarre, but its true.
- Transparency & Trust ~ When acceptance and confidence are fostered in a relationship, the result is often more vulnerability and transparency. I find when my children are in a place of great confidence in my love and joy in them and for them, they open up and share their heart much more freely. This is one of the greatest joys, to talk about life and see them learn and grow into women and men who have a purpose and are living on purpose to change the world.
So, I’m about to go home, and I’m going to be very intentional to make sure my face betrays the joy my children are to me. They are going to get a big hug, and I’m going to whisper in their ear how much I love them and how proud I am of them.
How about you. Anything you would add to the list? Here is also an old video I made for a now defunct blog. Reminded me how fast my kids are growing up.
Photo Credit: Mait Jüriado via Compfight cc