Monday, April 24, 2006

Being Present

Processing. Processing.

So far, here are my thoughts about what it means to be "present," with regard to my kids.

- Hearing what they say the first time they say it. Paying attention when they speak and responding promptly.

- Letting Boo push the cart at the grocery store even though she is in my way. Not complaining about it. Not getting exasperated and communicating to her that being near her is annoying or unenjoyable.

- Saying "yes" when Bug asks me to play baseball with him... even though Bao won't let me put her down without screaming. Finding a way to play with him and encourage him as he plays.

- Being silly with them.

- Playing along when Boo asks me to babysit her doll.

- Overall, communicating by my words and actions that what is important to them, is important to me, even if it ISN'T important to me. And I know you know what I mean.

- If they ask, letting them help me. Finding a way for them to help with cooking (this one will be hard for me, people) or my cleaning, or gardening. Letting them come with me when I have to run an errand.

These are my initial thoughts. And I don't expect to do these things all the time, every time. These are just things that I am not so hot at right now, but I am trying to improve.

Is this resonating with anyone else? I want to hear what other things you think might fit here. They can be things you are good at or things you want to be good at.

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Blogger owlhaven said...

One thing I TRY to do is when they are talking, listen with smiling eyes...

Mary, mom to many

Mon Apr 24, 11:52:00 PM  
Blogger BooMama said...

You know what's hard for me? PLAYING. Part of it is that the little man always wants to "play trains," and I don't know how to do that. I AM A GIRL! :-)

Can three year olds learn card games? I don't think I would mind playing card games.

I love what Mary says about listening with smiling eyes...I do love sitting down and talking with the little man, asking him questions, watching his reactions as he answers me. And I love hearing him laugh and will do almost anything to MAKE him laugh as a result. :-)

Mon Apr 24, 11:59:00 PM  
Blogger aggiejenn said...

I feel blessed that you are going through this before me. I know these are things I might struggle with as well, and now I can learn from you how to be fully "present" with my child (and future children). Thanks for sharing your struggle and your great thoughts!

Tue Apr 25, 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Your kids are so well spoken I'd ask them what they want to do with Mom. My son comes up with the ODDEST stuff - but ultimatly pretty fun.

Although, sometimes he takes pity on his poor mother and offers, "go walmart?" I love that boy!

Tue Apr 25, 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger sarahgrace said...

You could turn this into a sort of theme about kids, and start tagging people to create their own lists of ways to be present with their kids, and we all could learn from each person's list... can tag me- I'd sure like to do it.

Tue Apr 25, 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Patti said...

I must say that nothing made me feel more special than when Mom or Dad let me help. Even when Dad let me stir the cookie dough, I felt really important.

I think as long as you know that there are areas where you need to improve then you will eventually do so without thinking about it. That's how I function at least.

Tue Apr 25, 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger PEZmama said...

Hmmm, Sarahgrace, that sounds like an idea...

Tue Apr 25, 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger Shalee said...

I've taken the kids up on playing. Yesterday when asked to jump on the trampoline with them, I said yes. They were surprised and excited about being with me. Now that made me feel really good.

We're reading Charlotte's Web (as promised) and we are talking about the story as we are going along.

When talking with them, I try to stop what ever it is I want to do and look at them. I want others to give me their full attention; my children deserve no less.

And today, my daughter offered to cook with me. I took her up on it and it was fun!

Tue Apr 25, 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

This is so hard for me. Really I just need to NOT BE ON THE PHONE. Since we've moved away from everyone (we used to just go and have tons of playdays-kids play, moms talk-everyone is happy) the phone is the only way I feel still connected somehow. I have got to get over that so that I can also start being present with my kids. Thanks for the wonderful post.

Wed Apr 26, 05:39:00 PM  

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