I just wanted to share a few quick thoughts on this. I was a stay-at-home mom. I don’t recommend it for just everyone. I have seen too many mothers feel that they were supposed to be home with their kids and mostly they counted down the minutes until they had banked enough quality time to earn them “mom points” and then raced back to work.
Here’s the thing. Whether or not a mother works outside the home, children need time with them. That important bonding and growing and loving can take place just as meaningfully in a few hours on a weekend as it can in minutes sprinkled throughout an at-home mom’s days.
Nowadays I see too many parents with their noses glued to their phones. They don’t see their kids watching them and absorbing their lack of attention. They don’t understand what a powerful and damaging message that sends to their children. And when the parents finally tear themselves from texting or Facebook or whatever, just to hand the phone over to the little one so he or she can play a game or watch a video, it breaks my heart. Where is the connection between mother and child? What is the message being sent in that one act- of looking up from their phone to handing it over to the child? It amazes me that people cannot see the damage that is made when the child is being taught that the phone is the most important thing in their lives.
Whatever happened to talking to your child? Interacting one on one or three on one or however many kids you have on one? There is something so basic and important and vital in the act of having a conversation with your child, even if it’s about nothing.
The other day I put on a Winnie the Pooh video for my little grandchild. I didn’t do it because I needed a break or wanted to distract him or occupy him for awhile. I did it because he loves Pooh and Tigger, and I sing the songs to him all the time. I wanted to share the wonder of him seeing his favorite characters come to life. He was excited to hear the songs but had no interest in the actual video. That’s okay. I learned something from that one attempt. He’s not ready and I’m in no rush for him to be clamoring for the tv to be on. He’s happy playing with his toys, knocking down the blocks that I stack and looking at books with me. And then yesterday he picked up his stuffed Tigger and while he was saying what sounded suspiciously like “Tig” he bounced him through the air. The grin on his face when I asked, “Is Tigger bouncing?” told me that I was probably right. And when I sang, “He’s bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, fun fun fun fun fun!” and he giggled, I knew I had nailed it. All the days of asking, “Where’s Pooh?” and him looking around before finding his Pooh laying in his basket of toys and singing about the Hundred Acre Woods had meant something. He was making connections and we had created memories.
Much more meaningful than if I had just tossed him my phone to watch a video.