"This got me wondering: When I elect to work late, am I sending the message to my kids that they're less of a priority to me than my job? I won't spend time with you tonight, honey, because, frankly, my work is more important."
Carter concludes that, while quantity is important, what's more essential is being calm, unhurried and present during time with our children. She quotes Dan Siegel, author of Mindsight:
"When parents and children align their focus on each other, there is a neurobiological process…that is activated. This process, which mediates a sense of well-being, joy and elation, is at the heart of emotional attunement when one person feels “felt” and understood by the other person. This form of contingent communication is at the heart of developing secure attachments. It begins in infancy and continues throughout the life span."
"When we parent mindfully, we are simply taking in what is in the here and now, without judgment. We are aware of our own moods, and those of our children. We cease our relentless planning and our relentless doing....When our parenting is all instrumental—just accomplishing what needs to get done—we risk not just our own but our children’s happiness."
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