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last---past---next---now



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OLD AND NEW READS
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the progressive
mediate
the other side
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nobody here




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last---past---next---now
�2006 Candor Communications


2005-09-13 - 9:49 p.m.

look at your child


look at your child... watch him or her sleeping... watch him or her eating... watch him or her watching TV... look closely... watch her hands... watch his eyes... see their smile, their frown, their laughter, their tears... take your time...

think about what he or she means to you... why did you have a child?... planned or accident, how did you feel when she was born?... how did you feel when you first held her/him in your arms?... when you first looked into those eyes... look at your child's eyes...

now...

go look...

what do you see?...

write it down...

now tell your child...

how long did you give each suggestion?... how important is this to you?... how serious will you take your relationship with your children?... am I wasting my time?...

talk to your child... say, "I love you"... realize what you have to lose if she was no longer there... think about how you would feel is he was far away... if you could not see him... if you could not hear her voice...

realize that if you do not teach her how to love, she will not love... realize that if you do not teach him how to communicate, he will not talk to you...

children grow so fast...

when does the eye contact stop?...

when does the instant smile of recognition turn into a bored grunt, an impassive stare, an indifferent sigh, or even a frown?...

if you don't want to lose your child, be open to their feelings... be open to your feelings... ask them to explain... explain yourself... really want to understand... don't just pretend you do, they'll know it if you fake it... if you rush past them on the way out the door to work... if you get home from work and feel too stressed or too tired to give them attention, they will think they did something wrong... that they are not worth your time... that you do not love them...

ridiculous?...

think again...

how do you feel when your husband or wife or boyfriend or girlfriend comes home or to bed with hardly a goodnight, curles up away from you and falls asleep?...

exhausted?... sure... our culture allows little time and energy for the most important things in life... we wake up as refreshed as we are going to get from whatever sleep we got and rush out to do our best work, with or without the help of coffee, we give our peak energy and most quality time to some job...

we get home burnt out and frustrated with having so many things to do and so little energy to get them done... the dishes are in the sink... the laundry is piling up... the kids don't understand that their fun time is making more work for us... their toys are everywhere...

sure we are sometimes angry...

but are we angry at our children?... jealous of their free time?... their innocence?... their lack of responsibility?... their privileged lives without constant obligations and demands?...

sounds foolish when we read it...

but...

look at your child...

are you afraid to know what is going on in her head?... do you care what he did at school today?... how does she feel about her friends?... does he have a best friend?... why did he choose that kid?... what does she dream about at night?... what does she really want?... right now?... to be in life?...

what are her favorite TV shows?... music?... books?... famous personalities?... foods?... sports?... heros?... things?...

why?...

really, why does she or he like this or that better than some other?...

find all this out before the silences form a wall of mistrust... before the rushing past them in the morning or grumpy disinterest (or anger) in the evening drives them away...

you reap what you sow... you get out of it what you put in... you will see yourself in your children, they become what they see in you...

show them your best self as much as you can... but most of all, show them your real self... real with love...

you are tired?... tell them that is not their fault...

you are frustrated with your life?... tell them that is not their fault...

you are angry about something?... tell them what you are angry about... tell them how you feel, honestly, openly... teach them to be true... teach them to express themselves with love... teach them to have respect by giving them respect... teach them to understand by understanding them...

tell them that is not their fault...

and if you are angry with something they did, remember that it is what they did, not him, not her that you do not like... if they did something stupid, remember it is what they did, not her, not him who is stupid... think about what you say and tell them precisely what you mean...

with loving correction, not just judgement...

but don't just tell them, show them... you are what you do... that thirty second hug in the morning will not ruin your day or make you any later for work than you already are... that minute just standing still and listening before anything else when you walk through the door to your home is not beyond your ability to give... and if you are truly wise and care about yourself, you will make it your business, fixed in your schedule, to walk in your house, put your bags down, and sit down for thirty minutes to rest, welcoming your child to tell you about their day... ask them... encourage them... teach them to share...

make it a daily ritual... your thirty minutes to unwind... explain that you are tired and need to rest a bit, but you are listening and very much want to hear all about their lives, their feelings about what happened during their time away from you, everything...

listen... ask questions... listen some more...

let go of your day and focus on your child... re-focus your priorities...

and then, give yourself time... take a shower or just do something for yourself, anything that pleases you and takes you to a better place inside... let it be the second half of your hour to unwind every day... separate your work day from your evening at home with your family... the rest of your evening will be much more productive... you'll get much more done and enjoy it all the more...

and share the activities... make cleaning fun (or at least a shared chore)... cooking, laundry, everything... the biggest mistake you can make is dividing up the chores around the house so each individual is isolated and feeling put upon by the unpleasant task of scrubbing the floor or doing the dishes or scrubbing scum off the tub or cleaning the toilet or windows or floors or walls or whatever... separating or alternating the chores might seem fair, logically, but it feels more like punishment when one kid is working and the others are playing... doing the chores all together makes the chores a family activity and potentially fun...

but it still comes back to you and your attention...

you have a child?...

stop being selfish...

you work all day and feel like nobody appreciates you?... you feel your time is not your own?... you can't wait for the end of the day when you don't have to take orders, serve others, follow protocol, meet demands of customers, deal with so many responsibilities?... you rush out of work and feel free, finally, you're off the clock, you're not on your bosses time, finally, your time...

and it's natural to be selfish and want time for yourself... it's natural to want to let the child in you out to play, to want to decide exactly what you want to do with your time and make sure it is fun for you... it's natural to want to have some freedom from responsibilities... the boss isn't looking, goof off...

if you can not make your children your fun, your freedom from the working work, your pleasure and release from the insensitive madhouse of our culture, then you're in big trouble and so are your children...

that, sadly, might be most of you...

until you think about it...

for that is not how is has to be... you can, even if you did not start at the beginning when they were in diapers, make up for lost time... you can open your heart and express your true feelings to your child... you can feel sad about the quality time you lost getting into solitary habits and letting the pressures of worklife and paying bills and being responsible for everything get you down and push your children away... you can explain and they will understand if you are honest, sincere, and show them you didn't mean to push them away, that you made a mistake and want their help in correcting that mistake...

you can start right now...

you may have taught them the same habits... to transfer the stress of a day full of obligations to strangers on to those people closest... they may have had a tough test... an unfair teacher... a fight with a friend... they may have been picked on, ostracized, felt humiliated or defeated in any number of ways... they may be stressed, tired, frustrated, angry... feeling like they are losing themselves... feeling like they have no fun, no free time... feeling used up, unappreciated, even worthless... and they just want to curl up in some escape when they get home...

TV... video games... or, like most adults, drinking or drugs...

you?...

start at the beginning...

look at your child...

...

stop, sit, make eye contact, listen, ask specific questions about what you are hearing... because you are interested, NOT because you are suspecting them of doing something wrong... not because they are another burden, another responsibility you must take care of, but because you care about them...

you love them...

remember?...

take your time... trust is not re-earned overnight... isolating habits are not changed overnight... imtimacy takes time... but look at your child... pay attention... listen... respond... show them you care...

it is all about time...

give your child your time... you will never find quality time if you do not give time in the first place... take the time, give the time...

now is a great time to start...

look at your child...






. o O ( NOTES ARE THE NEW HAPPY PILL ) O o .
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