Do you think of yourself as an attentive parent? I am a stay-at-home mom blogger, juggling my writing work and family life. Of course, I think I am giving more importance to my children than my work.
One evening, my one-year-old, who just started walking, was sitting on the floor with his toys and playing contentedly. After a few minutes of watching him, I took my mobile phone and started listening to a blogging lesson I was supposed to finish a month ago.
Then my son toddled towards me with his little arms outstretched, asking me to lead him to the next room. As I was almost at the end of the lesson, I thought of managing both of these at a time. I took my son’s right hand supporting his walk. I held the mobile phone in my other hand and continued listening to the lesson. I did not notice that he was babbling something as I had my ear phones plugged in.
My son immediately took hold of the ear phone wires that were dangling down in his reach and threw the phone down. I somehow caught it midair. Then to my surprise, he pulled the phone out of my hands again and threw it on the floor forcefully. This time it landed on the floor and stayed there. He was never this agressive. He is a smiling, joyful baby. Thankfully, my phone is childproofed and didn’t break.
But the precious thing I learnt was that my son was literally begging for my FULL attention. He was almost saying, “No mom, it is not okay to look at your phone or laptop when I want to play with you.”
Just because I could do so many things using my smartphone, I unknowingly ignored my son. I never thought of myself as an inattentive parent till that evening.
It’s true parents lead very busy lives with so much to do. We do not like being idle for even a short time. We love spending our time online, looking up what our friends are doing, the latest news or anything that catches our attention. We get lost in the ocean of content that is available online. But we need to stop getting sucked into the web. Our time is worth more than that, especially when we are parents.
That incident with my son made me rethink all my actions. It made me consciously correct myself to become the loving and attentive parent I always wanted to be.
When we give due attention to our children, we listen to them naturally. Listening to our children is way more important than we think. When we listen really closely as our children speak, we enter their world where they can think of us as their friends. Our kids would look at us as someone who would understand them. When they need any help or advice, their first key person to go to will be us. Isn’t that what we want at the end of the day? I think it is the best ever reward for a parent.
For this Christmas, the best gift you could give your child would be your full attention! We should not even unknowingly ignore them. It is the perfect gift you can give to your precious little ones. Your time is more valuable than the world to them. It’s an evergreen gift, not just seasonal.
I am sure many of you loving parents are already super-attentive to your children. This article is for parents, who are like me and more prone to be lost in technology.