I found preschool playtime was often mind-numbingly-exhausting. We’d stumble into a game like stacking up blocks and knocking them down, and the kids would want to endlessly repeat it. Again! Again! It was moderately amusing the first three times, but by the 20th… well. Here’s a great cartoon about this experience – can you relate?

fowl-silly-with-kids

[Being Silly with Little Kids ©Brian Gordon, used by permission]

Karen McCown is one of the early pioneers in emotional intelligence, she is the Founder of Six Seconds as well as Nueva School and Synapse School, and the author of the Self-Science method for teaching about emotions. Many years ago she said to me: 

“There is big difference between taking time, and giving time.”

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Giving Time or Taking Time?

In those endless block-stacking experiences, I often thought: Am I taking time for my kiddo, or giving time? My observation: When you genuinely give, it doesn’t really matter if you like the gift for yourself… it matters that the other person feels the gift.

It’s quite liberating to give time. You decide when and how much, and then fully, freely share that time with your child. Because it’s a gift, it doesn’t really matter how she or he uses the time. If you dig holes in the mud… or bake cookies… or bake pretend cookies… or draw pictures… or just listen… the power is in the giving. The child feels it.

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What’s the Emotional Effect of Giving Time?

How would it feel to you to define a chunk of time and give it freely?

How would it feel to your child?

Are you ready to try it?

If so, please come back and share your experience in the comments on this page.

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Plus, If you’d like more tips and strategies for parenting with emotional intelligence, please sign up on the form below and we’ll email you an excerpt of our new book: Whole-Hearted Parenting – how to use emotional intelligence to create more peace, connection, and joy.

 

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Joshua Freedman

Joshua is one of the world’s preeminent experts on developing emotional intelligence to create positive change. With warmth and authenticity, he translates leading-edge science into practical, applicable terms that improve the quality of relationships to unlock enduring success. Joshua leads the world’s largest network of emotional intelligence practitioners and researchers.
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