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Lynda Loveland: Surprising stat

Posted April 6, 2011

Lynda Loveland

When I went to see the Blue Man Group with my husband a few weeks ago, I didn’t expect to learn anything. I just wanted to sit there, relax and enjoy myself. The last thing I wanted to think about was parenting. But I’ll be danged if it didn’t pop up and occupy my brain during the last half of the show. So unfair. I was really trying to concentrate on the pudding like stuff spewing from their chests.

During part of the show, different statistics about communication appeared on a giant iPad thingy. One of them threw me for a loop. It read, “In America, the average parent spends only five minutes a day talking to their child, one on one.” My first thought was, no way. I totally talk to my kids more than that. But than, I REALLY started to think about it.

I don’t see my kids until they get off the bus after school. Than I empty the book bags, do the initial how was your day, did you behave, did you eat your lunch? From there, I start dinner and feed the dogs.

All the while, the kids are asking me, will you play soccer with me, will you play Barbies with me? But I’m always busy making dinner. After dinner, it’s cleanup, homework, a little TV and than bath and bed.

Do I talk with the kids? Yes, but when I break it down, my one on one time is not expansive. I hate to admit it. It SEEMS like I talk to them more. But it’s not really that quality, by ourselves kind of discussion. I gotta say, I’m disappointed in me. I need to be better. Even if the kids don’t offer much, I need to try and pull more out. Geez, you only get one shot! It’s now or never.

I managed to wrap up my thoughts just in time for the Blue Man Group grand finale with the rolls and rolls of toilet paper flying through the air.

I’m gonna be better. Other stuff just doesn’t matter as much.

Lynda is the mom of three and co-host of Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM's Bill & Lynda in the Morning. Find her here on Thursdays.


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  • sohappy Apr 7, 2011

    Cherish every moment! Be it one-on-one or the entire gang! They grow up and every second counts! As parents we only have our children on loan to us from God, and it's our responsiblity to raise them and love them - all the rest is gravy!

  • Twittyfan Apr 7, 2011

    NCishome what a sweet story... I am a single parent as well but not by choice because he died. I also look after my aging parents and it is a wonderful feeling to know that you are looking after them like they did you when we were little. My daughter has been able to witness and have a caring heart and it will carry her far in life and help her understand about elderly people. She also has the most respect for everyone and everyone is always telling me what a terrific kid she is... I say it is because I have always revolved my life around her and my family...My mother requires alot of help with her health problems and my little girl can look after her better than most adults can...It is rewarding to see the loving and caring daughter that I have been blessed with...

  • NCishome Apr 7, 2011

    I am a single child of a single parent from the (cough) 60's. Mom worked to provide for everything. The most enjoyable moments are the walks to town so that we could window shop and have a Coke and a slice of pie at the Greyhound bus station. Some how she spent time to hear about my questions and I know that Mom loves to the moon and back.

    And now I am the one who takes Mom to window shop at the mall and we have our coffee and pie at the local coffee shop.

  • luvtoshag Apr 7, 2011

    Linda, just know you are doing a great job at raising your children. I spend time with my daughter going to doctor's appointments (every 2 weeks), giving medicine (40 minutes in the morning and before bed), giving shots on Saturdays, having blood drawn and still have time for just mommy and her. We eat dinner every night together, do homework,etc. When we talk about things in her life it is the best, she tells me about the boys she likes or doesn't like, what her friends are doing, going to choir practice, or all the other things she likes to do. We take her most places with us unless it is an adult only outing. I wouldn't take any of it back. Yes, sometimes I feel like I don't spend enough quality time with her and spend too much time fussing about getting ready for school, picking up her room, but all in all I wouldn't change it. She knows her mom and dad love her, thinks she is beautiful, smart and funny.

  • murdock Apr 7, 2011

    Interesting stat, but what about all the time one-on-one not talking - like hiding under the covers to surprise Daddy, helping my son jump on the bed and flipping, holding his legs and letting him walk on the floor with his hands, etc. I really cherish those moments with my son, and I work full-time. My husband stays at home with him and I think my son is doing great!

  • Twittyfan Apr 7, 2011

    I wish all children in the world could have loving families and homes like we have!! If I could ever win the lottery I would buy all the raw land I could and build a nice huge building for children to live and give them a chance at life.. A child is going to remember the good cooked meals, parents at home with them etc and they are going to grow up saying I had a great childhood and be proud to tell their kids...Lynda as you can see we are all great parents with a busy schedule but at least we can say our children are loved and they know it...It is the little things that they will remember anyway.. Lynda I am sure you are a great mother too so don't beat yourself up about it...

  • kellypratz Apr 7, 2011

    When I pickup both my daughters every afternoon after work I always ask each one how there day was, anything exciting happen at school. I guess I ask too many questions because my older daughter will say "Mom, your asking too many questions". I love being involved in their lives and try to make the extra time on weekends to spend with them. I figure I better do it now before their both too embarrassed to hang out with their mom.

  • MyKidRox Apr 7, 2011

    I am a working mom and love my job. But I love my son SO much more. I was on the parent advisory board at his preschool. I sat down to write an article for the school newsletter and calculated the time that my son spent with his teachers vs. my husband and I per day. The answer was heart-wrenching. I vowed then to give 100% of myself at work but as soon as my feet hit the parking lot, it was all about my family. I have a stellar boss that gives me freedom to attend Kindergarten functions, etc. He doesn't give me grief when I take sick days to be with my son. I know so many do not have this luxury. I am grateful for the opportunities that are afforded me. I do sometimes feel a sense of failure when I speak to stay-at-home moms but we are a different generation than our moms that didn't work a public job. Don't ever think your hard work is going unnoticed. Your kids will be well-rounded and social and independent. Just keep giving those hugs and kisses. Hang in there!

  • nbranch Apr 7, 2011

    Lynda, quit beating yourself over the head. You're there when they get home from school, you're cooking a real dinner. You're probably supervising homework and helping them get ready for bed. You have three children for goodness' sake, and it sounds as if you're a dream mom to this old-enough-to-be-a-grandmother. Twittyfan takes vacation days (even half days are good) to be with her daughter. I did that too, and I'll never regret it.

  • jkca Apr 7, 2011

    Thanks for the article Lynda... we all need to stop and smell the roses with our kids.