Parenting: the Gift of Presence

Our children merely want to be with us.

I need to go fishing … or shopping or walking in the park or playing in the yard.

The parenting debate continues to rage about quality vs quantity. While I do not know how to quantify these numbers, I do know that our children need our presence and attentiveness.

It’s all about the relationships between parents and children.

One wise friend and therapist shared her parenting story with me when my son was a mere infant:

“It was 11:30 p.m. at night and I had drifted off to sleep on the couch. Just then my teenage daughter bounded into the house after seeing a movie with her friends. With great exuberance, she launched into an animated monologue about the movie.”

My friend smiled at me and continued her story from the weekend, “So…I brewed a fresh pot of coffee and we sat in the kitchen for two hours talking. Did I care about the movie? No, it was dumb. Did I care about my daughter? YES! If you listen to the small things and the things that are important to your son, he will come to you with the big things and the difficult things that come his way.”

Be ever present with your children and with the children the Lord brings into your care.

Step away from your laptop (guilty!), stop reading email on your phone (guilty), log off of Pinterest, hang up the phone when your children are in your car … and, instead, go fishing!

But really … it isn’t about fishing. It’s about relationships.

Posted by Sharon R. Hoover

About Sharon R Hoover

Serving the church for over twenty years in discipleship and mission ministries, I've walked alongside many people travelling and exploring the journey of faith. Add in my own crazy path and I hope my writing will offer glimpses of life worth sharing.
This entry was posted in Randomness, Student Ministry and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Parenting: the Gift of Presence

  1. Pingback: How to be Effective in the Now | a Journal of Missional Living

  2. Sharon, I love this post. You’re so right! It doesn’t take rocket science to nurture relationships. It just takes some time and attention. A friend of mine says she tries to “stop her hands” when her kids come in. Our hands are always so busy! When we put down what we’re doing and make eye contact it sends an powerful message of love. Thanks for the terrific post. I’m glad we connected on ACFW.

    • Hi Linda! What a very practical suggestion… “stop my hands”! I will definitely be conscious of them today. I, too, am quite busy with my hands while “listening” to others around me. Somehow I don’t think that I am truly listening. Thanks for stopping by and connecting through ACFW!

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