Gain Ground Today

The Art of Active Seeing

What can be the hardest job in the world to do well?
In my opinion, PARENTING is a front runner in that race!  Of course most of us can say that we provide for our children.  They have warm clothes, food in their bellies, and a soft place to sleep at night.  However, deep inside, we all know that being a good parent means more then simply providing our kids with the basics.

As parents, we need to nurture our children’s souls as well.

This means taking the time and making a concentrated effort to really see our children for what they are. Sure, our kids may be outwardly healthy (thank God!), but what is really going on within?  If you look closely enough, you may find that a truly happy child will almost glow with contentment.  And, on the flip side, unfortunately, a child in emotional distress may present with sad, angry, or even vacant eyes.  Of course no one feels truly happy all of the time. However, it can be helpful as a parent to observe your children and take note of how they are feeling most of the time.

Oftentimes, a child’s words may not accurately reflect the way that he or she is really feeling.

How many times (even in a day) do we ask our kids, “How are you?”, “How was school?” etc., only to receive the typical response of “Fine”?  I am suggesting that we take time to look beyond the outward and expected and instead try to see our kids on a deeper and more meaningful level.

Over the years we have heard a lot about “active listening”.  I am suggesting that we add to that popular and valuable concept the art of “active seeing”.

Here are some tips to help get you started:

1)      Try to spend some quiet time with your child everyday.  This can mean walking to school together, preparing a meal together, etc.  Anything you can do that will give you some uninterrupted time to talk with and observe your child.

2)      Observe how your child interacts with others.  Does your child exhibit a different mood or demeanor depending upon who he or she is with at the time?  Then take a few moments to make sense of your observations.

3)      Get involved!  By getting and staying involved with your child’s activities, you are not only intentionally spending quality time with him or her, but you are also putting yourself in a position to see them and interact with them in their element.

The Art of Active Seeing


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