Time In

As moms, we talk. Whether it’s in our workplace, at book club, at library storytime or the local pool.  We share stories, ask for advice and offer advice.

Last week I had three of these mom-to-mom chats.  One involved a 12 year-old boy who was alternately sarcastic and moody, and then loving and contrite to his mom.  Another involved a toddler who was ruining ‘quality time’ in the evening with his working mom by acting out in the bathtub.  The third involved a willful two year-old who was boycotting naps and throwing everything in his room that wasn’t nailed down.

My advice to all three moms was the same.  It didn’t come from my experience as a nurse, or my background in parent education.  Not from a textbook or expert source, either.  It came from my gut.  My intuition and experience as a mom. 

“Pull them close.”

We know about ‘time out’ for kids, but I think our children might need more ‘time in.’  First and foremost, time in our arms.  But just as importantly, time in our undivided attention.  No calls, no texts, no emails.  Just mom and child, eye to eye, ear to ear, arm in arm.  Time in.

I’m currently testing this advice on my 18 year-old son who leaves for college in five weeks and thinks he is way past rules, limits or curfews.  (He does preface most requests with “I love you Mom” while picking me up off my feet in a big hug, so I think we’re somewhat on the same page.)  I’ll check back with you on this….

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