I am all about new technology. Obviously. I made it here on a blog, didn't I? Love me my computer and my cell phone, but there are some irksome things that accompany these very useful tools.
Let me give you an example:
I'm at the park with Lily and her brother Maddox. I'm wildly trying to keep track of the two of them in the midst of about two other dozen children visiting the park that day. My tracking skills are lacking a bit since my days of small children, but I try my best. I follow Maddox to the swings, to find a young mommy swinging two children alternately while holding her cell phone in one hand. I listen enough to know that this is not an emergency. That it is not an important business call or a family conference. She is just chatting it up with a bud. Her two children are mindlessly staring off into space while the rhythmic movement and the ongoing chatter has placed them in a semi hypnotic state. What Fun! A day at the park with mom! Well, partly with mom. Most of her attention is on her conversation with another person. Not them.
I've been in the drive up line at banks, seen mommy's driving children of to school, waiting in check out lines, all with the same scenario: Mom talking wildly on the cell while back seat children stare off into space, or worse, involved in their own plugged in apparatus. Sometimes three, four people in a small space in a car, all in their own world; no interaction, dialogue, conversation.
What a waste.
Drive time is a safe time to talk to your children about everything. Kids feel the concentrated focus. Mom/Dad is in a safe perimeter of listening and being. Their eyes are on the road so there is no stony stare if they want to share something difficult. They know that they have your attention for the limited time that they are on the road. Good, good talk time. And yet so many young mommy's are missing opportunities that are golden for conversations that will be memorable and useful in years to come.
Some of my best conversations with my Eldest Son started in the car as we delivered papers when he was in high school. We would begin our very early day with a stream of conversation that would run the extent of the route, with interruptions of updates about the people on the route. Some crucial moral issues, political and spiritual topics were covered in that hour and a half cruise through the neighborhoods at the crazy hour of 4:30am. And we still remember it. I believe that those times are some of my fondest memories with Eldest Son; times when he was going through adolescence and struggling with impending adulthood. And I would have missed it all if I would have placed someone else, someone I did not give birth to, as a priority to him.
Please, young mamas. consider your audience before you make that 'important' call. Think of the message you are sending to your little ones. Don't let them know that pretty much everyone is more important than they are. Be aware that they are listening to EVERYTHING you are saying and are stockpiling the lessons they are learning in your conversations for use at at later date. After all, that is sometimes, the only thing that they hear from you in the long ride to school before you wave them off before driving away.
Converse with the most important people ever. The people that you gave birth to. It's an investment you will not regret.....
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