Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Watch me Daddy


It is funny what we can learn from our children when we just listen to what they say. It is amazing how powerful three simple words can mean. I am not talking about the usual life changing three word statement of "I love you". It is a phrase that validates just how important our approval is to our children. How much they value our opinion. How are important of a job that we have as parents and shaping the lives of our children as they grow and develop.
What is the phrase? "Watch me Daddy". As a parent we probably hear this a few hundred times a day and really never think a whole lot about it before we respond with a "yep" or "oh yeah" and then go back to what we were doing that we felt was so important. Just because you have responded to the call of watch me with a half hearted yep does not make you a bad parent. We have all done it and will probably do it again.
Think about it, are there any other people in the world that really care that deeply about our opinion? That we approve of or that we are impressed because they can jump into the pool from the side? Watch me. Watch me. This little person so looks up to you that they want you to watch everything they are doing to impress us. To excite us as much as they are excited by performing whatever amazing feat they are on the verge of displaying. We as parents have an obligation to watch, to take a split second to break ourselves away and give them the attention they want and deserve.
I know you are thinking if I watched each time, that is all I would be doing. But, does it really take that much time to make the eye contact and give them a response. It is probably more important to them than it is to you. But, they deserve it. You are obligated. It is your job. You are that important to them. Your approval is that important.
They grow and they won't ask you near as much to watch them. I can tell you though, it never goes away if you have done your job. It is always going to be important to them that you watch what they are doing. If you have done your job they will want your approval. They will continue to strive and impress you. How would it feel if they stopped as asking you? What if your opinion and approval meant nothing to them?
You are reading to much into it. Am I? I feel that I talk from experience. I have one son, he is 18 and out of high school and I have two daughters 5 and 6. Yes, they ask me to watch many more times a day than my son. However, I can tell you from being my son's football coach during his high school career. He still wanted me to watch him, except at that age it turns more into "did you see that?" I watched and I saw. It was important to him. It was important to me.
The point that I am trying to make, be involved in your kid's lives. You owe that to them. It is your job as a parent. I can assure you that you will never regret the investment. It pays off over and over. So the next time you hear "Watch me" think about what they are really asking and watch them

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