Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Time Is On My Side

“Time is on my side” sang the Rolling Stones. Not for me. Where does the time go? Didn’t we just start the school year? Now that it is the first week of January, it’s time to take a minute to regroup and reorganize. This time of year is a great time to make note of what has passed and what can be improved on in a family’s lifestyle.

January is pretty much the halfway mark of the academic school year and it affords a chance to review your family/school routines and assess what is working or not. Does homework seem to be a chore? Do strategies need to be adjusted for dinner and menu ideas? What are your reading goals?

Studies have shown that children do better in school when they observe parents, relatives or caregivers being active in their school and educational pursuits. It makes them feel that the adults in their lives are invested in the school process with them which in turns boosts their academic confidence. Recently, a national news program interviewed parents and asked them if they thought that they were too distracted with their phones and texting/checking e-mail when they are with their children. Every parent answered that they were certain he or she didn’t spend too much time fiddling with the phone while in their children’s presence. Cut to every child looking at the camera and answering that yes, they wished that Mommy or Daddy would spend less time on the phone and more time engaged with them.

Remember when you were a child and you would let go of the handlebars momentarily as you rode a bicycle? What did you call out as you did it? “Look Mom no hands!” or “Dad, watch this!” You wanted the validation of an adult in your life acknowledging what you were able to do. It was fun to master a skill like throwing a ball or turning a cartwheel on your own. Yet, when an adult gave some praise for your newly discovered ability, then it seemed like a real accomplishment. Parents are busy. But before you check one more e-mail or return a text when you are seated in the stands at the t-ball game, or when the school concert is about to start and your child is scanning the audience to see where you are seated, ask yourself if it can wait. Let a child know you are completely invested in their activities and their lives.

All the best for 2011.

Be well,


1 comment:

  1. Excellent points, Alice. As adults, how do we like it if we are in, say, a restaurant with a friend, and that friend pulls out their cell phone to place a call? Granted, our children aren't going to have our totally undivided attention, 24/7 (nor do they need it). However, their mental health and security rely heavily on our consistent love and attention to their needs.

    Thanks for this great reminder, Alice.



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