Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The emotional bank account

My favorite Author is Steven R. Covey. He has written my absolute favorite book –The Divine Center—and my second favorite book—7 habits of highly effective people.
I think he just may have also taken third place in my heart with his book—7 habits of highly effective families.
I have the book on tape version and I actually like it that way better because I can listen to it while I am going about my day………or while I am sewing at night.
It is one of those books that EVERY parent should listen to. I “highly” recommend it.

In this book, Steven draws the analogy of our kids having an emotional bank account. Everything we do as parents “deposits” in, or “withdrawals” from our Children’s emotional bank account.

I am a person who learns VERY well with analogies, so this one helps me “get it.”
This concept goes right along with what I have been focusing on in speaking to and about my children in a more positive way. But I also think it has a lot to do with so many things we DO with and to our children.

It is very easy for us stay at home moms to get distracted by “things” that we think NEED to be done.
I am becoming more and more convinced that NOTHING is more important then spending every moment I can with my kids. Sure there are times (like right now) when I have gotten them nice and tired and they just want a break to sit and watch a show. THAT is when I too get my break.

But I think of all of the times I have gotten on the computer JUST to check my email and then end up being on way longer then I intended.
Or there are times when I feel like I HAVE to get my house cleaned before I can function as a mom.
And then there is the Laundry and the ironing and then meal making and the…….and the………

You get my picture……..right?

As mom’s we are busy. I will not take that away.
BUT, as I think about the “emotional bank account” of my children, I have to ask myself what message I am sending them.

When I tell my kids I will be there in “just a minute” I am really telling them that what I am doing right now is more important then the awesome train track they just spend a lot of time to build JUST so they could show it off to me.
When I drop what I am doing and take that little bit of effort to walk into the next room to see what they want to show me, I am telling them that I will always be there to come to and that they are MUCH more important then whatever silly thing I may have gotten started on.

As a mom, I cannot just drop all of the things I need to get done all of the time. I would never get anything done that way. So something I am also working harder at doing is including my children on the things I am doing. They have been helping me with the house work, laundry, cooking and it has been such a fun way for us to spend time together, give them that attention AND get my stuff done.

Our kids learn so much by our examples. (It’s almost scary)
The way we treat them now, will be the way they treat us later. If we show them that love and respect and make MANY “deposits” into their “emotional bank account” then they will make more “deposits” in our “emotional bank account.”
And what mom does not want more deposits into her emotional bank account?!!! :)


Lynda said...

very true!

Jess said...

Love the 7 Habits. I am also trying to limit my computer time so I can spend more time with the little ones. I think living in front of my e-mail while they beg for attention next to me may be sending the wrong message. :)