Tell me about it!
Like most working parents, I savor every moment with my children. But let’s face it – those precious moments are usually few and far between during the work week. You only have your children’s full attention for so long, so why not make the best of it?
It wasn’t until my two-year old enthusiastically yelled one day, “watch me Mommy!” that I realized… (gasp) that I wasn’t watching her. This realization didn’t occur because she asked me to watch her; it was because she asked me four times before I noticed that she wanted my attention (I was checking email).
The next day I made a promise to my family that I would make a change to enhance our communication. But how can we keep traditional communication going in today’s super- cyber-society? Here are a few changes I’ve made that promote more conversation and less technology in my life:
- Switch off unnecessary distractions. I switch off the radio while driving to and from daycare and encourage my daughter to “tell me about it.” Of course there are the usual nursery rhymes — which, to say I can recite with ease is an understatement– but hearing her tell me all the things she’s learning, and asking her to teach Mommy about it, is rewarding.
- Involve your kids in dinner conversation. Dinner used to be a time where my husband and I could trade stories from our day, which usually resulted in laughter and a few high-fives. We’re still laughing and high-fiving, but it’s with our two-year old because we asked, and she told us, just how many and what color the carrots were on her plate. Conversing AND educating? Clutch!
- Disconnect for an hour each day. I make a point to allot one hour of reading or drawing with my kids. When we’re really rushed both of those might take place while they are in the bathtub. Bath crayons can be so fun. How’s that for multitasking?!