Parenting Pathway #119: Be Present

I have a confession: having Lego blocks spread all over the floor drives me crazy. Couple that with dress-up clothes scattered from kitchen to living room, and I can barely concentrate. You see, I love a clean house where everything has, and is in, its place. But when I am playing with my children, if I am all the while thinking about how soon we can clean up the “mess,” I am not being present with them.

Being present is about being where you are, both physically and emotionally. It is about turning down the chatter of your mind, and allowing yourself to enjoy the moment you are in. If my 4-year old and I are playing “Go Fish,” and the only thing on my mind is the dishes in the sink or the phone calls to be made, I am not allowing myself to be emotionally engaged with her. I will miss cues, connections and invitations into her world.

If I am playing “Go Fish,” and only playing “Go Fish,” I am better able to receive her small, and incredibly important, gifts • like noticing the word that has been added to her vocabulary, seeing her learn to strategize her next move in creative ways, or hearing about developing relationships with new friends. Being present allows you to honor the presence of the person you are with. Being present enables you to find joy in unexpected moments.

Coaching Inquiries: In what ways have you been emotionally unavailable? What is most important in this very moment?

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May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Erika Jackson (
LifeTrek Coaching International
Columbus, OH  •   U.S.A.

Telephone: 614-565-9953 • Fax: 208-977-7793
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