There is nothing your kids need more from you than your undivided attention. Not every minute, of course. But they need to know they can “get you” when they need you.
And its not just for them – you’ll benefit, too. There is something marvelous that happens when your child, knowing s/he has your ear, starts telling you everything! Yes, you may need to “force” yourself to listen to the excruciating detail of today’s playground duels, but look at is as a kind of meditation. Your child is heard, and you’re in the zone of being present for them. You don’t have to worry about the details or whether you’ll be tested on them later. The content is not the issue. But your presence…now that’s a gift!
So put down the cell phone, look up from the computer or the mail or the cooking or whatever other critically important task is on your list. Look directly into your child’s eyes and ask something simple, like, “what happened today that made you laugh?” And then listen to the answer, watching eyes for the recognition that you are still listening. Revel in it. THIS is the joy of relationship. And P.S. It even works with teenagers!