Wrestling With Your Kids
When my four-year-old granddaughter asks me for some “Me and you time,” I marvel at how much we adults can learn from little children. Kids instinctively know that personal, one-on-one time with a caring adult is special. Maybe we realize it too, but it’s so much easier to ignore it.
There’s so much going on in our lives, important stuff like making money, having a social life, working out at the fitness center, reading, playing golf, you name it. It’s hard to sit down and pay attention, really pay attention to the little person in our life while she draws a rainbow in the sky or a doggy wagging its tail, or colors a picture of Winnie the Pooh.
I heard a story the other day from a Dad who tried very hard to be a good Dad to his young children, One day he was rewarded when his two munchkins put their arms around him and said, “It’s really cool Dad that you love us so much.” After nearly keeling over in surprise, the Dad decided to tease them a little. “Oh yea, how do you guys KNOW that I love you” Expecting to hear that it’s because he took them to Disneyland last summer or because he gave them “game boys” at Christmas time, he was surprised once more when the kids answered “Cuz you always wrestle with us.”
Strange isn’t it that sometimes it takes a kid to help us get our heads on straight. We think that all kids want is more stuff. What they really want is us. They don’t want our “uh huhs” from behind a newspaper or while our minds are focused on a Seinfeld re-run,
They crave attention. They want someone to listen to them. They experience our love when we become involved with them.
I recall as a kid going with my Dad to see a baseball game. It wasn’t the game I remember. Just being there with my Dad, knowing that I had him all to myself for the next three hours, that’s what was memorable. Heck, he could have taken me to a flower show and I think I would have enjoyed it just as much.
What is so beautiful about making the effort to spend one-on-one time with your kid is that you benefit from the experience as much as your kid. Parents and grandparents who give kids “me and you” time, become closer to their kids and enjoy the time they spend in their company. When we make the time to listen to our kids with full attention, they not only grow to love us more; we also love them more. Kids cease to be a bother and become more loveable when they are given more attention, and, you know what? You learn a lot, too. That’s just the way it works.
Someone said that we are becoming a society made up of people who live our lives “out of breath and out of time.” When our kids make a bid for our attention by misbehaving, we respond by giving them “time outs.” Maybe we are the ones who should be giving ourselves the time outs from our busyness, and learn to play with them again.