Do you ever sit back and talk to your friends or family about your childhood? Do you have indelible memories that resurface from time to time?
Now, think about your children. This is their childhood. Many years from now, they will be sitting around talking about their childhood. What will they say? What will they remember?
It is easy to forget that we only get one childhood to build lifelong memories and develop lifelong skills. Now, as a parent, it is your responsibility to make sure that your child grows up with these memories and skills. You only get one pass at it. You can’t reset or start over. The child is getting older at every moment.
I try to remember this when I’m “too tired” or “too busy” to take them to the park or just play a silly game with them. I don’t want them to remember that Dad was always too busy to play with us. Like everyone else, I’m addicted to my smartphone but I try to remember to put it down when I’m with the kids. If my phone is so smart, it will learn to live without me for a short period of time.
You are a critical piece of your child’s memories of their own childhood and their development. Be there.