I know you have heard things, read articles, or even had conversations about being present, putting down the phone yadda yadda yadda. I’m gonna be honest, being a present parent seemed like a silly term to me. I mean here we are cooking, cleaning, paying bills, shopping, tying shoes, getting up in the middle of the night, agonizing over every little thing and the list just goes on and on. So what if I want to play a game on my phone, or read or shop or be on Facebook. So what is the big deal about present parenting?
Last week I was at my sons Kung Fu class. As a rule I am watching about 50% of the time and some time is spent talking, on the phone or stretching for my own class. Then something happened that caught my attention. A different kid came in a little late. no big deal other than that it got my attention. I noticed as he started that he kept looking back at his dad. Looking to see if he was watching. Then I saw one of the girls in the class do the same thing. Then another kid. Then another. Then my kid. When he saw I was paying attention….HUGE smile. Five minutes passes as I am thinking about it and watching. He looks again, sees me watching HUGE smile. Then I notice that all of the sudden his form improved. His kick was harder. His punch more precise. Was he showing off? You bet he was. Not to his other classmates, not to the other parents, Sifu, instructors. He was showing off for me.
So here I am about to head in to his Kung Fu class and I am turning my phone off. 1 hour is nothing and not only do I like watching him and seeing where he is at I want him to know his interests are important to me too. I am now on a mission to be a more present parent. Facebook and all the other distractions can wait this moment is important. Present Parenting may just be my new favorite thing. Or at the very least my newest goal to work on.