AlignMENt: What are you paying attention to? - Donohue Consulting, Inc

AlignMENt: What are you paying attention to?

The best thing you can give your children is not money, gifts, advice or even time.  Those are all great, but the best thing you can give your children is your full presence and listening attention. 

Here’s a little quiz:  Do you do any of the following when talking with your kids?

Ÿ   Play on your computer of cell phone

Ÿ   Read newspapers, magazine or books

Ÿ   Clean up the house

Ÿ   Answer emails

None of this stuff is illegal, it just means you are not fully present with your kids.  I know, I know, we are in the age of multi-tasking and shouldn’t we be able to do other things when we talk to our children? We certainly can, but then we should not be upset when we do not have a close relationship with our kids.  Our kids instinctively know when we are fully present and when we are distracted.  When we are fully engaged, there is a warmth and intimacy that is automatically created.

So, how can we become fully present with our children?  Five quick ideas:

  •  Put down the electronics, newspaper or anything else that distracts.
  •  Acknowledge – listening by nodding and saying things like “ah ha”, “yes”
  •  Validate – specifically acknowledge that you understand their feelings.
  •  Empowering Questions – ask high interest questions that cannot be  answered with yes or no.
  •  Body Language – lean forward and keep your body position open.

Try these five things and I guarantee your relationship with your children with quickly grow more deeply.  Giving someone your full attention is free, but the value is priceless.


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