1. One of the best things I’ve found as the parent of a passel of kids is to always force myself not to instantly REACT whenever things are said – I can now consciously sit back and listen first to everything before making any decisions.

    My eldest has pointed out that makes her far more comfortable in coming to me with questions. Respect on both ends…works!

  2. Jim DeLorenzo

    Well stated, Jeff, and it’s interesting to hear this perspective from someone with kids much older than my own. I previously thought about how distracted parenting would impact the very young and impressionable, but of course it’s just as big a deal for older kids. It’s really about showing them the same respect that we as parents expect, no matter the age.

  3. Thanks Barbara, yes, taking the time to listen goes a long way (in ALL relationships – kids, business, partners… Thanks for sharing.


    Yes, the same applies at all ages. In fact I think your “attention” may matter even more as the kids get older, because they understand more, and thus make assumptions if you “can’t” find the time for them. As you correctly state, it is all about respect, which they understand more readily as they get older. It is always an adventure, and parenting is parenting at any and all ages! Thanks for sharing your thoughts too!

  4. such a rich post! we have a common saying in our home, which is “Are you speaking life” or “Are you speaking death”. We have a choice every day w/ our kiddos and everyone for that matter. thanks for reminding me to speak life!

  5. Thanks Chris! “Speaking life” is a great tip too. The choice is always ours. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


  6. Jeff,

    This point cannot be raised often enough. We are all guilty of getting involved in our daily life and not paying attention to everything that is going on around us. This type of reminder helps us to remember to be active and involved. Thanks,

  7. Jeff, recently I found myself doing that very thing: not giving my children my full attention when they talked to me. I work from home, so it can be tough to balance the kids with work. I have to work, and they need to know that you give your attention to the job at hand. Multitasking can be handy, but it deprives all the tasks of your best efforts. Yet my kids also need to know how important they are and that they are worth listening to.

    So now I do a couple of things:
    1. I break from work when they get home from school. That first hour they are home is all about them.
    2. When they interrupt my work, I turn from the computer and really listen. But then I remind them that I have to finish my work so that we will have time together later.

  8. Kevin, thanks and I agree. Can’t be reminded enough. Frankly, I wrote the post as a means of reminding myself. 🙂

    Erin, GREAT suggestions, especially for those who work at home. I wish I had adhered to your after-school policy during the times that I worked from my home. Thanks for sharing!

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