Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Involved or Distant

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.

 Then you have the involved family member.  She is sitting there at the table playing games with the kids.  She is out riding a bike or shooting hoops with them.  She makes eye contact and focuses on what they are saying as they speak to her.  She sits with them, holding their little hands as they say bedtime prayers.  She is involved in what is going on.

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?

Sweet Blessings~


  1. Hi Jenifer - far too often I have been a distant parent. I praise God though that one can keep trying and make new bonds with them even though, in my case, they are teenagers.
    God bless

  2. I think I'm both. I'm definitely in a place where I'm feeling distant right now. We've been playing in the pool together a lot... I'm ready to sit in the shade and watch! This was great encouragement for me as we go home tomorrow and homeschool is around the corner for us too! I think sometimes as a homeschool mom, I feel so involved doing school that during play time I become distant. Wonderful post :)

  3. I can really relate to what Heidi said! I think I have been both distant and involved. But I want to be more involved with all my kids.

  4. I loved this! Thank you for sharing. I am passing this along!!


  5. I certainly do my best to be an involved father to my kids, but like you do fall into the "distant" category now and again.

    Great encouragement and a wonderful reminder!

    Have a Blessed Day!

  6. Like many of the others, I am both. I want to be 100% involved all of the time, but it doesn't always happen. I want to stay at home with my kiddos, be the homeschooling mommy, making my own bread...but that's not how it is for me right now. So I do my best, with His help!

  7. Thanks for the reminder to be more involved. Sometimes, I can get so wrapped up in the computer, time has just flown by. Going to say Good-bye for now & go see what the kids are up too!

  8. This really spoke to me today. My heart wants to be involved 100% but there are definitely days it doesn't happen. Reminders like this sure help me stay focused. Thank you!


  9. Well, I have tears in my eyes so that probably tells you what kind of parent I am. If I've said, "In one more minute..." Once, I've said it a thousand times. There will come a time when my kids won't want anything to do with me and I'll miss this.

  10. When I had children at home I was both, like yourself. But for the first nine years I was a working mom and my life was very chaotic, I was just hoping to survive each day. Then as a single mom I was both again, but I really tried both times to be involved, I realized that my kids were growing up much too fast.
    Once I married my sweet husband I was much more involved and was free in my mind and with my time to spend much more time with my daughter, my son was gone to live with his dad.
    Life can be difficult, children don't understand that, but they certainly feel it. Our being involved helps them through the difficult times, I have found. But, I have been a very involved grandma. It helps that I am still young, I have the energy to jog along side of them as they bike and spend time playing in the park. I know now how quickly children grow up and are gone. MUCH too quickly.
    A very good question.
    Hugs, Cindy

  11. I am a firm believer in active listening, especially when it comes to our children. They need our eye contact, head nods and verbal confirmation. I also find asking questions about the topic at hand lets my little man know I am, in fact, listening to his every word.
    Thank you for this word today!


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