My husband and I are empty nesters, our kids grown and out of the house. For now. No children at home, but we have dogs and our dogs are like kids in a lot of ways.
I’ve heard that a mature dog has the mentally of a 3-year old child so they stay kid-like. Yesterday, I was outside with my dogs and I wanted them to roll around in the grass or sit in the sun while I checked my email on my phone. Dori, the older and bigger of my 2 dogs, wouldn’t go away. She nudged the phone, positioned herself to be scratched, and stayed right next to me. She wanted attention and she seemed to fully understand that my phone prevented me from paying attention to her.
When my kids were young, I struggled with being in the moment, really focusing on them 100% because it seemed like there was always so much for me to take care of. When my son shaved his eyebrows without me noticing, for example.
I think I’d probably have a serious problem giving my full attention to my kids because I’d be so distracted by the urge to be constantly connected. Personal devices require attention when we use them. Our attention is best when it’s on one thing at a time.
Because Dori wouldn’t leave me alone, I put my phone down and chased her around the yard. Good for her, good for me.
Being in the moment, giving those you love your full attention requires a conscious choice. That undivided attention will go a long way in showing some one they are loved.