Today marked the first day of the last week of school before Christmas break. My daughter is more than excited. It’s not just Santa and presents and visiting cousins that my daughter is over the moon about. It’s the time off school and the time home with mommy and daddy and brother that has her tickled pink.
This got me thinking, all the “stuff” in the world can’t replace social connection. And, instinctively, children know this. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, they lose it.
I read an article once that reported on a study done on teens and what they would rather have, given two choices. The first choice was more stuff. The second choice was more time with their parents. At the outset of the article, I assumed it would detail how today’s teens wanted more stuff and less time with their families. I thought this mostly because I haven’t met a teen yet who would admit to wanting more time with their parents and fewer gadgets. 😉
But I guess the way the study was done, it turns out, at the heart of things, teens want more time with their parents and fewer gadgets. They want mom and dad to come home from work in the evening and focus on family rather than the Blackberry or the laptop that they are chained to for work. What teens really want, according to this study (and if I ever locate the article in my files, I’ll post a link to it) is quality, unplugged time with mom and dad.
So now when my little girl wants my undivided attention or wants me to pick her up just for a cuddle, I stop what I’m doing and come down to her level. Some days this is harder to do than others. But if it helps her become one of those teens from that study who still look forward to spending time with mom and dad, then that’s what I’ll do. And I’ll do it for her brother too. 🙂