October 29, 2009
Am I appropriately available to my kids?
"Being around our kids as much as is possible and appropriate is a
great start toward our being available to them. But availability requires
more than just physical presence. It takes our willingness to
spend the time and energy to actually tune in to what’s going on in
Shaping and influencing your kids—taking that “unfinished
product” and “designing” them to become the healthiest person
they can be—is every parent’s responsibility. An important vehicle
we have for accomplishing this task is your willingness to be available
to them. If you are not around, you will miss the opportunity
to influence them; if you are present but yet not really available
because you are not tuned in to them, then you could still miss
While meeting their needs for time and attention is essential
to their health and well-being, it is also possible to be excessively
and inappropriately available to them. When parents are constantly
available and believe that “no” should never be an option,
they run the risk that their children will grow up believing the
false assumption that: “Since no one else has needs that are as important
as mine, then the world must owe me something anytime
I demand it.” Needless to say, such an assumption leads to many
1. Were your parents appropriately available to you when you
2. How did their degree of availability affect you as a kid growing
3. Is your availability to your kids today appropriate and
4. Do you ever wonder if you are too available to your kids, or do
you need to work on being more available than you are?
5. Do you see any affects in your kids from your being either too
available or not available enough?
6. If you believe you need to make some changes in this area of
availability, what are they?