Tonight my daughter wanted to play “Improv” with me. It is a game where you work through the alphabet as you go around the circle, each person taking it in turns to make up a funny phrase on the spot, beginning with the next letter of the alphabet. It can be quite fun and definitely very silly!
What *I* wanted to do was to catch up on some computer work. It was 11.30pm, I was getting tired, and I was definitely ready to quieten down for the night.
Yet I looked at her hopeful face and my son’s enthusiasm to join in the game and I thought, stuff the computer! My kids want to play!
It was hard to get into the mood of it at first and in fact the initial round was played by my kids only, while I watched on. Buoyed by observing their dramatic fun, their humour and their happy faces, I gradually shifted from observation to participation, and before long I was laughing along with them and ready to join in the next round.
And I’m so very glad that I did.
Better than neglect is casual observation.
Better than casual observation is attentive observation.
Better than attentive observation is participation – with joy and enthusiasm!
It is when we actively engage with our children,
when we join in their games (yes, even the electronic variety),
when we sit and watch their favourite programs with them,
when we take up a new hobby together,
when we let go of our inhibitions and be silly with them,
that the connection grows, the relationship flourishes, and memories worth treasuring are forged.
What are some ways that you have moved from observation to participation?
What are some of your favourite ways to connect with your kids?