Monday, November 8, 2010

Genuine Interest

Last night some of our favorite people came to visit! Friends from Seattle that I used to work with were down speaking at a college retreat and came to visit us after the retreat was over. I know they love children, they have 3 daughters!, but I was amazed at how much they loved my children! From the moment they arrived the feeling was mutual and my children were in love. “Mommy, are they going to watch us while you leave?” “No,” I said, “they’re here to visit with all of us!” “Well, can you leave sometime and they can stay with us?” I was shocked! Mind you, my children have had little to no interaction with these friends so their opinion was truly being formed that evening. My daughter climbed all over Mike, the girls begged Shari to show them pictures of her girls, Shari read them bed time stories, Mike tickled them, it really was an amazing evening and I just couldn’t believe how quickly my children, who often are timid with people they don’t really know, were attached. After the children went to sleep, we had an adult dinner and discussed how in love the children were. My husband made a keen observation – kids know if someone is genuinely interested in them or not. They pick up on our attitude, our mood, our polite questions, or our genuine interest in them. Mike and Shari came into our home genuinely interested in our children - wanting to play with them, tickle them, ask them questions, read them stories, and spend time with them. They kids picked up on that immediately and dove in (after about a 5 minute grace period!!). It’s not enough to just ask our children a few questions, kiss them on the head and walk by. We must take genuine interest so that they feel that what they have to offer is of great value to us. It’s not enough to just say “I love you” to our children. We must make sure they feel loved. When we take genuine interest in our children, or other people for that matter, they come to life. They light up and feel so important, special, and significant that the dynamic of the relationship changes greatly. There is trust, honesty and most importantly love. Take time to be genuinely interested – it will change their life, and yours too.

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