Your Attention Matters

attention

Is your electronic device more important than your child? For some the answer seems to be “yes”. Placing these devices before our children may be unintentional, but the results are the same. Our children lack the attention they deserve and need. I’m not pointing fingers, because I’ve been guilty of this too.

A few months ago I watched a video regarding this very topic. Parents were with their children, but instead of spending time with them, the parents were on their phones. As they sent texts, watched videos and played games, their children sat there doing nothing but watching them. Most likely they were anticipating the moment their parent would put the phone down, so that they could spend time together.

That video spoke volumes to me and since then I’ve worked very hard to put all devices down or step away from them when my son is around.

The message from the video struck even harder the day after I watched it. We all went to a small restaurant together. As we sat down with our food, I looked over to see a woman sitting at another table with her three children. At first, I was very impressed by how well the children were all sitting and behaving while in the restaurant. Then I looked at the mom and was immediately saddened for them.

With her head facing down, she had her eyes glued to the screen of her phone. As she sat there sending text after text they all quietly watched her, waiting for her to put the phone away. Throughout the entire duration of our stay, she never did. For 30 minutes, her three children ate silently and watched her as she played on her phone. It broke my heart. I wanted to go sit with the kids myself. Perhaps I should have.

Our texts, videos and games can wait. There are real life people who need us right now. We need to put them first. To put anything else before them is selfish. Our children didn’t ask to be brought into the world. We asked for them, and even if we didn’t, we were given them as precious gifts. They need to be treated that way.

Our electronic devices will continue to function just fine without our attention. Our children will not.

To be a parent is a job that requires work and time, but it is well worth every moment and every sacrifice. Let’s be parents to our children. Let’s love them. Let’s make their generation better than our own.

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20 Responses to Your Attention Matters

  1. Ryan Dueck says:

    I am guilty of this from time to time!

    Like

  2. Scott Booker says:

    It was interesting for me to witness a family Thanksgiving Dinner this year….where people didn’t sit around the table and talk and enjoy each other’s conversation but instead held their forks with one hand and texted, tweeted, searched, etc with the other.

    Like

  3. tric says:

    Guilty as charged! I do try but I love to blog in the evening when I can relax.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I completely understand that. When my son is busy doing other things, I blog also. He has his time and I have mine. But, when it’s time for us to have our time together, that’s what we have.

      I believe that as long as we handle our time accordingly, that everything will fall into place just as it should. From everything I’ve read, you’re a great mom.

      Like

  4. parmis rad says:

    So very true and sadly I cannot point fingers for it would be pointed at myself!

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  5. Grannymar says:

    As the mother of a 35 year old daughter, I am proud to admit that I devoted my attentions to the first eighteen years of her life. I did not go out to work, but gave time when she was at school to charity volunteering. We had none of the modern gadgets that are considered compulsory in the world of today, yet she was helped to progress at every level. If research was needed for a project, we took her to the library. We fed her books, as did her teachers, she loved school and made plenty of friends. When my husband died following a six year illness, I went back to work, but often felt resentment from working mothers. Being a parent is a privilege, and we need to remember that time given to children is like paying forward to the future.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Those were the good days. Those were the days I remember growing up in. Like you, my mother was always there to teach me, to help and to feed me books. There were no little electronic devices around and I’m so very thankful for that.

      Also, I highly respect you staying home to raise your daughter. That makes a huge difference in their lives and also in who they become as adults. Your wonderful statement reminds me of this quote, “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” Thank you so much for this comment.

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  6. Pingback: Our Children | Grannymar

  7. suzjones says:

    I will use my iPad at night when she is watching youtube on her iPod. I blog in the mornings and the evenings but I do try to spend time with her. I always make it a point to turn away from the computer and give her my full attention when she comes to ask me a question.
    But I’m no saint. 😦

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    • mewhoami says:

      That makes two of us. Neither am I, but trying to do better. It’s a process. I think it’s great that you turn away from it all in order to focus your attention on her when she’s in the room. That’s all I was really trying to get at here. Many people don’t even do that. They talk while staring at the screen or device in front of them. Eye contact is becoming rare these days.

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      • suzjones says:

        There is a method to this – apart from the obvious of giving her my full attention.
        When my son was a teenager and still lived at home, he would come and ask me questions when I was engrossed in something at the computer and I answered him. Then he would do something later and when I asked him about it, he would say “But you said I could”! Lesson learned! 😛

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  8. Not a mom, but I agree wholeheartedly.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Thank you. Even non-mothers can make an impact on the young. For instance, talking to those children at the restaurant. If the mom can’t be a mother, then someone’s got to be. 🙂 I should have done it myself.

      Like

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