Yesterday the kids and I spent the day preparing for our new school year. We cleaned our family room, organized our school cabinets, went through the new curriculum and put everything in their desks. Then I sat down to figure out our daily schedule. I had to think of what worked for us before, what did not work that needs to be changed and what I want to add. As I sat there writing, thinking and praying, I started thinking about the two ways there are to be part of a family.
Distant or Involved.
A family member who is distant is one who sits back and watches her kids play a board game. She sits on the deck and watches the kids ride bikes. She nods and says "uh-huh" as they tell her of something special. She says bedtime prayers as she stands in the doorway ready to have time to herself. She loves her kids, of course, but she is living distant from them.
I have been both parents. At times I am very involved, yet at other times I am so very distant. Life weighs us down. We get tired. We feel burdened. I know these feelings. I feel justified when I am distant. That does not make it right or even fair to my children. Yes, there are things around the house that need to be done so I can't constantly be playing with them. Our kids probably don't want us playing with them nonstop anyway. But there are time we need to make a point to be involved. Especially when they are speaking to us.
Our children need to know that they are special to us. They need to know that when they are speaking to us, we are really listening to them. And they need to know that we take prayer seriously instead of a passing thing before bed. I never what to squash my children's spirit by being a distant parent. Are you a distant parent or an involved?