Aussie swimming teacher Sarah Strangio gets really excited when her young students swim their first lap.
“Did you see that?” a young boy exudes he he reaches the other end of the pool for the first time.
He looks over expectantly to where dad is sitting, hoping to catch a big smile of affirmation or a thumbs-up. “Aw shucks, daddy is looking at his phone and missed it.” Maybe next time.
He continues to struggle along, swimming as well as he can as he works to get his symbolic ‘fins’ and enter the exciting world of watersports. Sputtering, breathless, he stops to rest, but in a few moments, he is up and at it again. Yes–score another success!
“Daddy must have been watching this time?” but when he looks inquiringly over to where he is seated, once again daddy is completely absorbed in his games. Whatever.
His little heart continues to hope, but after enough repeats, he begins to absorb a message about himself. His swimming success isn’t all that important to daddy.
Meanwhile, daddy (or mamma) is blissfully unaware of the message s/he is sending. Without intending it, this parent has just sent a rejection message to their child.
This post is a reminder to moms and dads to stay tuned and think about the ways they relate to their kids and the communications their children are receiving. The small moments add up and count for a lot.
Go mom and dad! Have fun in the summer sun with your kids, and remind yourself to stay tuned in to the everyday building blocks that over time will build the house, which will serve to build society. You have an awesome job!
Read more about Sarah, the attuned Aussie swim teacher at http://www.theage.com.au/comment/hey-dad-can-you-get-off-the-phone-20130628-2p2tm.html