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Life is About Moments
Photo: Dreamstime
Browsing through a magazine recently I turned the page and my eyes came to rest on a black and white advertisement that immediately drew me in. The photo, taken by photographer Peter Lindbergh, was a very tender mother/toddler pair, the mother gazing at the child in her arms and the little one looking directly at the camera. It beautifully captured the idea that important moments in each individual life should be celebrated. The ad, intended to sell luxury watches, proclaimed: “Life is about moments.”

How true. Life is made up of moments; some monumental and others seemingly insignificant. The irony is, however, that even though the beautiful watch in the advertisement keeps track of the minutes and hours of our days, it can be the enemy of the most important moments that make up life.

People who are in the parenting phase of life are often torn between the things that must get done and the needs of children for parental love and attention. In this ultra-busy season of life it seems certain that your child will always need/want your attention when you are the most pressed for time.

We beg, “Just a moment. I can’t play with you now, but I promise I will after supper.” After supper, however, the child is on to something else and may have completely forgotten about playing that game with you. The moment passed. Another missed opportunity slipped by.

Missed Moments

In the continual debate about “quality vs. quantity” it is a fact that quality time always takes place within a good quantity of time. Children are inefficient and do not necessarily cooperate with our desire to schedule “quality time.” Quality moments usually happen spontaneously within the context of generous amounts of unscheduled time. But what about my to-do list? Does my need to accomplish things trump their need for my attention? When we consistently choose our agendas over theirs we miss out. Beyond that, a child’s limited ability to understand time and its constraints make it difficult for them to not see this as a personal slight. Over time, choosing my agenda over theirs takes a toll on our relationship and results in missed moments.

We need to evaluate the consequences of wasted moments. I am not advocating dropping everything, every time your child wants your attention. Children must learn patience and delayed gratification. But examine the typical pattern of your parent/child interactions. Attention to little opportunities to make deposits in your relationship with your child is key. Look for ways to build memories that will carry you through the years to come and forge forever bonds of friendship with your child. Decide not to constantly put your child’s desires for your attention on hold—because life is about how we choose our moments.

The days of parenting young children quickly slip through our fingers and are gone forever. If we make space in our busy lives to give our children the gift of time we will never regret it!

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By Nancy Gerard. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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