I was so encouraged to hear and read the following National Public Radio (NPR) interview of Carl Honoré, an award-winning journalist and author and advocate for the Slow Movement, which encourages us “to slow down, approach life thoughtfully and work to make meaningful connections.” Here is a quote directly from the Slow Movement website, and I feel it pinpoints exactly why our Enlightened & Empowered Kids Preschool, Inc., NFP, (E & E) Early Childhood Program is so right.
“Stress is leading to unprecedented health problems. “Stop the world I want to get off” is a feeling we all have sometimes.
Why is this happening? What is wrong? What are we searching for? The one thing that is common to all these trends is connection. We are searching for connection. We want connection to people – ourselves, our family, our community, our friends, – to food, to place (where we live), and to life. We want connection to all that it means to live – we want to live a connected life.
This desire for connectedness is not new. Traditionally, in times past, our lives were connected. Most traditional cultures still have these connections.
Cultures with connection These people are connected to their culture, to people, to place and to their lives. It is not so long ago that the extended family was a real live entity with the extended family often living under the same roof. Children grew up knowing their cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and other relatives.”
Honoré’s latest book, The Slow Fix: Solve Problems, Work Smarter, and Live Better, steers us away from “quick fixes” and guides us through a step by step approach to “slow” problem solving using real life experiences. The NPR website interview can be accessed here:
Applying this to our own family-lives brings me to the title of this blog…it is our Presence to our children that is the real and best present we could ever give them. Our “busy-ness” gets in the way so easily. Our modern culture and need to survive in it expects and extracts so much from each of us!
Yet, our children are little for such a short time—this is the time we have the most impact on their lifelong well-being and happiness. As a person who has worked with families and their young children for over 30 years both in the public-school setting and in parent participation programs, I know how powerful our presence to our kids is. They want and deserve our full attention, not every minute of every day, but with a consistently loving response that is responsive to their needs.
It really is simple—your responsiveness to your children can range from JUST SITTING NEAR THEM when they play, to understanding HOW TO INCLUDE THEM IN THE CHORES that need to get done. The chores almost certainly won’t get done as efficiently, but you will find the family joy that working together brings is well worth your investment in Presence as your best parenting present.