Tea Time with Trish: Are you in the moment with your children?
I enjoy going to Starbuck’s whenever I am doing writing, or work that can be done on my computer. So, today, I decided to head to Starbuck’s and settle in for a couple hours of focused work. One of the things I have noticed from using Starbuck’s as my office, is that I also get the opportunity to see and hear what is going on for other people. Sometimes it is simply an observation, other times I overhear a conversation (…and no I’m not purposely eavesdropping!), and sometimes someone just stops by my table for no apparent reason other than to have someone to chat with. Regardless of the format in which it occurs, I have found that it is a great chance for me to learn what people are needing and craving.
So, today’s lesson….are you living in the moment with your children?! As I sat down, got my laptop set up, and settled in with my much loved Chai Tea Latte, I couldn’t help but notice a father and his daughter (about 7 or 8 years old) sitting at a table across from me. My first thought was how endearing it was…they were both quietly sitting and reading their individual books. I think this is sometimes a nice way to spend some time together…sitting quietly in each others company with no necessity for words. So, I thought good for them!
Where this shared serenity started to take a downhill turn was when the daughter, who was clearly enjoying her book, wanted so eagerly to share the story of what she was reading with her dad. Sweet, right? Well, it was, however as soon as the daughter started talking the dad pulled out his phone, and started texting, once done with that he started absently looking around – for what? who knows?….all the while the daughter was obliviously going on with the plot of her novel. Once she finished, he pulled out his newspaper again and proceeded to read without giving a single comment or look towards his daughter.
In all honesty, the daughter didn’t seem nearly as phased by this as I was, which speaks to me of how often it probably happens. And I am not at all judging the dad for his actions, since what that scene did for me is highlight how often we all probably do much the same thing to our children.
I am sending this out as a reminder to all parents, including myself – be in the moment, especially with our children! They deserve our full attention, and we deserve to give ourselves the benefit of living fully in every moment!
You’d be amazed how by spending a bit of focused quality time with your children can reap benefits on so many different levels.
As one friend shared with me, when she set aside the time to spend one on one time with her son, she saw a marked difference in his behaviour and attitude.
I think we under estimate what our busy lives are doing to us, as well as our families. We spend a lot more time together…..BUT, much of that time is spent driving to activities, watching their activities, and coordinating other structured time for them. It’s not the amount of time we spend, but it definitely is the quality of the time we spend.
So, put down that paper, shut off the tv, let the phone go to message…and shut off all the mind-clutter that may be lingering and be keeping you from being present in the moment!