Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hugs Unexpected

It’s those small moments that seem to count the most with our children. I spent an hour one evening sitting with my 6 year-old, 1st grade son while he did his homework for school. He did it all by himself. I just sat next to him, watched, and stepped in when he felt stuck. At bedtime that night, I asked him what his favorite part of his day was. He replied, “Doing my homework with you.” My heart melted. I hugged my son without even realizing it.

I could have been folding laundry. I could have been doing dishes. I could have been reading a magazine, working on the computer, or preparing dinner. But on this particular evening, Kyle had my completely undivided attention. Don’t get me wrong. I am all over the board with how tuned-in I am with my son when he does his homework and other activities. There are times my 2 year-old daughter is running around and has her own “homework” to do. There are times when I am scrambling to get the house clean, laundry folded, dinner prepared and pets fed all within the hour. There are times when my mind is not 100% focused on my son. Does that make me a bad mom?

I don’t think the message here is that to be a good parent, you have to commit 100% of your active attention to each child every time they engage in an activity. The point I am trying to make is that giving undivided, undistracted attention to your child goes noticed, and in the most unexpected situations. It is important that we as parents look for a healthy balance between our daily practical responsibilities, our needs as adults and making our children feel like the most important things in our worlds.

It’s those unexpected hugs that can be the most impactful. Please, share one of your moments with us. We all need the encouragement.