The Gift of Presence: Parenting in the Digital Age

One of the roles of a mother (and a father!) is to teach a child that they matter.

Is it a coincidence that, coming from the Latin root, in British English another word for mother is mater?  It sure is, but it’s an interesting one!

How do you teach a child that they matter? By being present with them. And I mean, fully present. By giving them your undivided attention.

It’s one of those things that is SIMPLE but NOT easy.

Especially in a world where our attention is so often split between multiple technological devices.

I often forget that my child notices when I sneak away and check something on Facebook. It’s just a couple minutes!

But to the child, it means everything. It means she is not interesting enough, lovable enough to be focused on, to be cared for.

Heck, even I feel affronted when my husband is checking something on his phone when I am talking to him—and he feels the same way when I am checking my phone while he is speaking with me! (We try our best not to, but every now and then…)

The point is, a child is no different. They feel a deep hurt too.

Well, actually, they ARE different. Children internalize this hurt and it comes to form their very self-image.

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