Our children merely want to be with us.
I need to go fishing … or shopping or walking in the park or playing in the yard.
The parenting debate continues to rage about quality vs quantity. While I do not know how to quantify these numbers, I do know that our children need our presence and attentiveness.
It’s all about the relationships between parents and children.
One wise friend and therapist shared her parenting story with me when my son was a mere infant:
“It was 11:30 p.m. at night and I had drifted off to sleep on the couch. Just then my teenage daughter bounded into the house after seeing a movie with her friends. With great exuberance, she launched into an animated monologue about the movie.”
My friend smiled at me and continued her story from the weekend, “So…I brewed a fresh pot of coffee and we sat in the kitchen for two hours talking. Did I care about the movie? No, it was dumb. Did I care about my daughter? YES! If you listen to the small things and the things that are important to your son, he will come to you with the big things and the difficult things that come his way.”
Be ever present with your children and with the children the Lord brings into your care.
Author and speaker, Margaret Feinberg, recently wrote about Jesus’ longing for the gift of presence. During the final hours before his arrest, Jesus asked his three closest friends to be with him and to pray. They failed. Jesus felt the loss. I, too, miss the moments. The gift of presence is sacrificial.
Step away from your laptop (guilty!), stop reading email on your phone (guilty), log off of Pinterest, hang up the phone when your children are in your car … and, instead, go fishing!
But really … it isn’t about fishing. It’s about relationships.