livinglifefully.com

March 26
  
  
To help your children turn
out well, spend twice as
much time with them and
half as much money.

H. Jackson Brown

  

Today's Meditation:

One of the myths that seems to be accepted broadly these days is that our kids want more things than they want time with their parents--that they're more interested in toys than affection, that they desire material goods more than they desire the company of people who love them.  Nothing could be further from the truth, though.  Kids want the affection and the love that their parents can give them, but sometimes they put up walls and masks when those things are withheld as a defense measure, and we mistakenly think those walls and masks are the real thing.

A kid who doesn't get affection is almost always going to develop coping strategies, and those usually entail creating the illusion that they neither want nor need the affection that they aren't getting.  So a parent who isn't spending a lot of time with a kid is going to get the message that the kid doesn't want to spend time with them anyway--which isn't an accurate message at all.

As adults, we need to be in tune with the needs of the young.  We're the ones with experience and education, so we really should know better than to neglect young people, be they our children or children who are part of our lives somehow.  Buying things for kids will get us that momentary satisfaction, and allow us to see that momentary glee that comes from getting something new, but spending time with a kid will give us lasting results--both for us and for them.

Most people will tell you that the adults that had the strongest positive effects on them when they were kids were the ones who made time for them, who listened to them, and who encouraged them, not the ones who bought them anything they wanted and then left them alone with their new toys.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of adults had the strongest effect on you when you were young?  How did you feel when someone spent time with you?

How do we get the idea that most kids want us to buy them things instead of spending time with them?  Is that accurate?  Even if it is accurate, do the kids necessarily know what's best for them, or just what they want in terms of immediate gratification? 

Why do so many adults spend so little time with young people?

For further thought:

If we had paid no more attention
to our plants than we have
to our children, we would now be
living in a jungle of weed.

Luther Burbank

   

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