Friday night last week I shared an idea I had for UpsideDown Parenting with my husband, who is also my partner in UP.
My husband, who is usually eager to hear about anything I come up with, was clearly impatient this time.
When I was done talking, he told me a parable about a chicken who runs back and forth between two neighboring farms, and can’t seem to decide where she belongs. The chicken, of course, represents me in this case. And the 2 farms are the hustle and bustle of the weekdays vs. the “weekend”.
It was his gentle way of reminding me to turn off a switch in my mind in honor of the Jewish Sabbath. He wanted to help me let go of the busy weekdays, and relax into the serene, family oriented day.
Had he known that this short, sweet parable would spark yet another idea for a video episode, he might have decided to save it for another time… J
Because it reminded me how I consistently fail to really be present with my kids during the times that I designate for Being With My Kids.
Just like the chicken, I can’t seem to decide where I belong.
There are so many obstacles between myself and my children during “quality time”: my i-pad, people asking for me on my cellphone, “just a short conversation” that turns into an hour on the phone… ideas popping into my head that I must write down before I forget. (And a legitimate trip to the bathroom).
My daughter Eliana (4) noticed that about me. When I’m playing the piano and she wants to tell me something, she says: “take your hands off of the keys”. And until I do, she won’t start talking!
This is an issue I’ve been working on with myself for a long time.
So in this video, in which I share with you the chicken’s dilemma, I will give you a mental exercise that’s helped me make a big leap in my presence with my children.
This exercise helps me remember what I set my mind to do before I was pulled in a completely different direction.
And then, I share with you two more failproof tactics that guarantee your undivided attention to your children when your mind does its thing.
Watch the video so that you can be fully (and easily!) engaged next time you hear “hey mom, listen to this!”
Now, all of us are often overwhelmed by having to perform on so many fronts, and having to switch between different hats.
And in the midst of it all, I know that you want to make sure to give your children your undivided attention and your presence that this relationship deserves.
So I’d love to hear from you, here in the comments:
During what time of the day or of the week do you want to be reminded to be fully present with your children? When will asking “Where is the chicken” make a difference for you?
And what new habit do you want to start practicing today—dropping physical distractions? Looking the child in his or her eyes? What works for you?
I’m looking forward to reading your comments.
Make yourself some wonderful moments!