It happens everyday and everywhere.
And I bet each and every one of you has done it at least once.
It’s been a long day and your mind is racing with a million things. Your child wants to tell you something, but you don’t notice he/she is talking.
Simple harmless mistake, yes? Don’t feel bad, we all do it. Continues on the next pages…
Now, let’s talk about not-so-simple harmful acts done on purpose.
You have bills to pay, doctor’s visits, food, clothes, diapers, and school supplies to buy, and the list goes on. So how do you afford all this? You work.
But wait, what about your kid(s?) You enroll them in daycare, another expense to add to the list.
You find a very good, affordable child care center that you can trust and enroll your child. Monday-Friday, you have drop off at 7 am and pick up at 6 pm.
Everything seems great, but is it really?
The first few times you pick up your child, you’re really excited to know all about their day. You talk to the care providers and to your child.
But then you come in after a stressful day at work; you pick up your child, say goodnight to the care providers, and leave. This is where things start to go bad.
You know that your child is taken care of and the excitement of a new daycare is gone. From here on out you come in, get your child, say goodnight, and leave.
No more talking to the care providers and no more talking to your child about his/her day. Sometimes you even come in while talking on your phone.
Seems harmless but no, it’s not.
Your child has gone all day without seeing you and when you finally return they get the cold shoulder.
What if he/she did an art project and wanted to show you? What if there was a new toy and s/he wanted you to see what it did?
You may feel like you’re on autopilot, but you’re also neglecting your child.
Now let’s touch on the even worse act – this one boils my blood.
You bring your child to daycare with a lunch, a sheet and blanket for nap, maybe a stuffed animal, and some extra clothes in case of an accident.
You have a lunchbox and a second bag for other belongs.
That’s not a lot and your child has his/her own cubby, so finding it all is easy peasy.
So, for the life of me, I can’t see any reason to intentionally hide from your child when you come to pick him/her up.
Your poor child misses you all day and you selfishly avoid him/her just so you can grab their belongings first? Not cool.
It’s even worse when your child sees you and gets excited but you scurry off hoping s/he didn’t notice you. Guess what, you were seen and now your child’s crying.
And hey, covering your face doesn’t work – they know it’s you.
Hiding in another room, behind a wall, or even behind another person doesn’t work.
Put yourself in your child’s shoes. How would you feel knowing the person you loved most was ignoring you after a long day apart? Loved, happy, important?
No, you would be hurt and maybe even crushed.
Would you want to feel that way five days a week? No, so why make your child feel that way?
Think about that the next time you go to pick up your child.
Don’t hide and ignore your child. Hang up your phone, you shouldn’t be on it while driving anyway.
Take interest in your child’s day, every day. Don’t just say you love them, PROVE IT. Be a parent.
Your child should come first even if you had a bad day at work and you’re tired.
If you don’t show your child love who will?
Remember that your child looks forward to seeing you at the end of the day, don’t disappoint him/her.
Be your child’s smile, let them know you missed them too and you care. Who knows, it might even help brighten your gloomy day.