What is the greatest gift you can give your children?


We often think about giving to our children, our loved ones, but perhaps less about being with them in a way that surpasses anything we could possibly hope to ‘give’ them. Yet as often as we talk about it in our Toolbox and Facebook posts, we grasp for ways to envision it or live it. Here are some hopefully concrete thoughts that may be of help to get you ‘here’.

The Greatest ‘Present’ You Can Give to Your Children

Parental self awareness is the ability to look at one’s self from moment to moment during parent/child interaction and ask one’s self, “How am I feeling?”. If you can do this as needed, you can make it through anything. Miss this step and you might miss that window of self-regulation and head down the road to reactivity. This level of awareness brings you into the moment, the present, and this is where love lies. When you can meet your child in the present without all of the worries of the future, and efforts to correct the past, then you will be parenting from a place of love, parenting in the now where the seemingly narrow yet at the same time vast space of possibility exists. You may also use this toward yourself, spouse, family etc. Keep in mind that this is the journey, and you cannot get there from “there”. You can only get there from “here”. – B

What Being ‘Here’ Might Look Like
I read a beautiful example recently that presents an image of just what ‘being present’ might look like that hopefully will give you something to use as a model for ‘being with’ your children and spouse. There are two ways to “be present” with others. One is where we think we are present for them, and the other is where they think we are present for them.

This stuff really is simple when it comes down to it, but it does take time.

“Dr. Benzel had a way of looking at people that let them know he was really looking at them. He was several inches taller than my parents, but he made sure to sit at eye level. He turned his seat away from the computer and pointed himself directly in front of them. He did not twitch or fidget or even react when my father talked. He had that habit of waiting a beat after people have spoken before speaking himself, in order to see if they are really done.” Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

Be present today!

David Durovy