Connecting with Our Kids - Part 1
Forging stronger communities comes with the creation of meaningful connections between various members of that community—and with more meaningful connections the stronger and more resilient our communities can become. Our younger generation, one could say, is likely among the most important groups, at least in terms of long-term human resilience. In recent decades, however, isolation from each other is becoming more and more pervasive and our connection with our children seems to have suffered the greatest blow.
Raising young ones in a fast-paced, hectic modern world brings greater challenges than ever before, but the bond we share with our children is a sacred one that deserves our full attention. This is not about beating ourselves up over not doing the right thing. It is not about the times we may have reacted inappropriately in this moment or that one—we have all been there. Let us move forward as we owe it to ourselves, to our loved ones, and to our relationships with them.
This article is part 1 of a series of articles proposing many areas of focus which I feel would prove highly effective in growing and nurturing our next generation—our children—into positive, self-confident, conscientious and capable human beings, as well as bringing to light healthier ways of connecting and relating to one another.
A major part of being present is our ability to “tune in” to our little human beings. This takes a great deal of practice and is something that is never quite perfected. How often though do we find ourselves in the middle of another task when a child requires attention? Then how often do we actually stop the task and pay 100% attention to the child? When we only give a portion of our attention to our young ones, there is this tendency to apply a conditioned response or “knee-jerk” reaction to the situation. Take for example an adult who is busy texting when approached by a daughter who wants to show off some art she has created. The parent takes maybe a few seconds to glance up with a response of “Oh, that’s nice, Dear.” Was there any real connection there? How often have we seen something similar to this? And it doesn’t always have to be a hand-held device as the culprit—although that is a big one. It can be, however, any task from doing the dishes to fixing the car. We miss out on so many opportunities to engage our children—opportunities for growth of the child and the growth of our relationship with them. If we are even partially immersing ourselves in another task, how can we be sure we are responding appropriately to our loved ones?