Have you ever had your child calling: “Mum, Mum, come and look at this.” You go and it’s a dead cricket. At that moment in time you have a choice to make…. To either engage in the moment with your child or to dismiss it/ them. You can either talk with them about what they’ve found, ask questions about what they think happened or what they think they should do with the cricket, thereby making it a time of learning, understanding and connection. Or, you can dismiss it with: “Its dead, leave it alone” or “Is that all, I was in the middle of doing dishes!”
One way helps the child feel connected with you, that you have time for them, and that what they have to say or show you is of value to you.
The other way – if said often enough- gives the message that you aren’t interested in what they like, and that dirty dishes are more important than them.
When my children were younger and we’d walk, I lost count of the number of rocks and pebbles collected by one child and each one had to be viewed by me, as if she’d just found gold. I also remember my daughter calling me to look at yet another jump she’d just come up with on the trampoline and wanted me to view – many times in a day, and if I resisted she’d say: ‘but Mum, this one’s special!’ When I did look – even if it didn’t seem any different to the last one, or last few I’d viewed – the magic was in her face – she beamed with pride over that jump…. That was the magic of the moment!
Every day we are given opportunities to connect with our children in a positive way, to build their sense of self-worth. The magic moments can be found anywhere and everywhere – in play together, in smiling and hugging, in laughing and doing silly things together, in noticing and commenting on what they are doing – magic is available anywhere!
It doesn’t come in the form of big expensive toys, but in the form of your connection with them when you play with those toys! So many parents have said to me that their child never plays with all the toys they have bought them. I can almost guarantee that if those parents played with the child with those same toys, there would be joy in the child’s eyes.
Magic is actually a willingness to give – to give your child the gift of your focussed time. Forget taking a photo of the moment and instead BE in the moment with them!
You can find magic in:
- Water puddles
- Cooking pretend cakes
- Playing with cars in the dirt
- Watching a show together
- Collecting sticks or rocks
- Watching the stars at night
- Reading a favourite story book over and over
- And in pulling funny faces in the mirror!
I know you all have dishes to do, washing to hang on the line and lawns to mow – but amid all the ‘work’ of parenting, find several of these magic moments each day!
You have the magic in you as a parent to make the magic smile and dance in your child’s eyes – it’s a choice we consciously make everytime they say; ‘Watch me, Dad!’
Happy ‘Magic Moments’!