Which memories do you choose?
Have you ever wondered what your child would be like as an adult? Take time to get to know your child now. “The child is father to the man” as William Wordsworth says in the poem. By spending time with your children and getting to know them, you will not only come to know the adults they will become, but you will help to shape the direction of their lives.
As adults, there are many distractions around us. Work, friends, hobbies and problems. Often when we are with our children physically, we are elsewhere mentally. We mean well, but sometimes when our kids are talking, we're listening to the voices in our head. We should have said this, we will do that, next time it'll be different.
To a young child, there is only now. When a child talks to you, there are no other voices. There is only you. It's an easy thing to say. Be there...be in the moment... focus. It can be so hard to actually do. As parents, we wish the best for our children, but there will come a time when we can no longer be there for them. The toys, the games, and all the other material things that we have given them will be gone. All they will have is the memories that we leave them.
Will they remember that when we were there, we took the time to really listen to them. To respond to their questions, to calm their fears, to give them direction in a sometimes confusing world? And before that final time when we are gone, but our children have started their own lives, what memories will we have? Will we remember those times with love and contentment, or will we be filled with regrets for all the wasted opportunities to truly be with our children?
There are no magic answers. Like everything else in life, we can only take it a step at a time. If yesterday we lost focus and were not the parents we want to be, today we can resolve to do better. Ultimately, we just need to keep in mind that of all the things we give our children when they are young, the thing they most want and the thing they will always remember, is the time that we gave them. The quality of the time we give is entirely up to us.