Time for some PRESENCE!

I hope you had the pleasure of sharing Christmas with your family this year.  Sharing gifts with our children – watching their joy erupt as they rip open presents and try out new toys and games – is a rich gift from God.  I am thankful He blessed me with another such year with my family.

Now that the house is filled with new goodies and the recycling bin looks like an overflowing landfill, what’s next?  Well, we have done our best to give good presents – now it’s time to give our presence to our families.  This is one of the richest blessings we can offer our spouse and children.  It costs us nothing, and everything, and is SO worth it!

Our presence blesses our children by:

  1. Helping them develop a secure identity.
  2. Engaging them in meaningful conversation.
  3. Preparing them for life’s challenges.

Being present with our children requires us to:

  1. Show up.  You can’t be present if you aren’t around.
  2. Open our minds to the realities of their perspectives.
  3. Show our child their worth to us by showing interest and value in what matters to them.
  4. Let go of what might happen, and focus on what is happening.
  5. Listen fully before we speak.
  6. Consider before we guide.
  7. Connect before we correct.

So, what does this look like in real life in a real relationship in a real family?

Well, this morning it means I will do my best to encourage my son as he conquers the world of Wii Pokemon.  And I need to be present enough to learn where the Drifblim is carrying Pikachu next, what may happen there, and why it matters to him.  And if his attitude gets off-track during his gaming journey this holiday season, I need to love him enough to gently and firmly correct him and guide him back to the right mindset and behaviors.  Alright, Son, game on!…

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