So don't waste it
We don't have a lot of time in this world. We don't get a whole lot of second chances. And we most certainly don't get many opportunities to create memories with our children once they leave the nest.
And in the end, all we have are memories. So for me, creating those memories is the single most important part of each interaction I have with my son. Sometimes it doesn't work out like that. We might have a difference of opinion, or I may go into dad mode and try to make a situation a teachable moment. There is always an opportunity to share knowledge. And that knowledge may come from the child. Embrace that. Learn to listen when they speak. They are smarter than we give them credit for.
We aren't right. As parents, we believe that we are. We believe that our years and experience have given us the answers to everything our children may be experiencing. But the reality is, they live in a different world than we do. Sometimes vastly different. They get information and feedback instantly. Their friends can share knowledge with lightning-fast speed. But that knowledge may not be correct. So it's up to us as parents to put a small wedge in that way of thinking.
We start by being present. My son was almost 20 when he moved out. It was a tough afternoon, and it's been a tough few months since then. But I knew it had to happen. Life is best lived when you don't have Dad hovering over your shoulder. But you do have the lessons. You have the conversations over lunch, laughing about the latest movies or comic storylines. Those are the memories that you're creating.
I have to ask when he's available to hang out. I have to press, and remind, and even bother to get a lunch date. But I don't mind. I know that when I get that moment, it will be the best part of my day, or even my week. Our children remember how we made them feel. So make them feel like you are their biggest fan.
Let's share how we stay present in our children's lives. How do you create memories?