Video and transcribe available below

Personal Share: Being Present with Your Kids

Hey folks it’s Dr Ro here. 

I have just arrived in a hotel where I’m about to be presenting for the weekend and I had to share this message for all of you who are parents or who soon will be parents.

But particularly for those of you that are already parents this is a personal honest share that I experienced today and I wanted to share it with you because, one of the things I teach when we are talking about communicating with impact and communicating with impact covers so many different areas both on a personal and professional level. 

Learning to be present in the moment with the person you’re communicating with and in my example today this was actually an experience I had with my daughters.

I want to get you to picture the scene and I want to give you maybe two or three things at the end of this, some takeaways for anyone watching this as a parent.

Okay so it’s somewhere about 8 o’clock in the morning, we’ve just been up for maybe an hour and a half. Most of you know if you’ve got kids getting everything ready, and the point I want to make is that in our heads as adults, as parents, we tend to have a movie and it’s like a script.

And the movie is how you want the day to pan out and each moment the day is like a chapter. So chapter one is get up, get the kids ready for school, chapter two is take the kids to school. Chapter three is get back from school get on with business or go to the gym, whatever it is. 

We all have this going on our consistent regular basis. When you have kids the point I want to make here is the kids have their own story in their heads with their own chapters, completely different to ours. 

What I discovered over the years as a parent is if we are really not careful, what can happen is we can be running and running our own movie, which is often dependent on time. We have a certain schedule we want to operate to and the kids have a completely different schedule altogether.

If anyone is watching this has got kids you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

For example, when a child is between one and five they’re in an unconscious state. If you’ve listened to the Seekardo podcasts, you’ll see on there a podcast relating to parenting or you might have watched my videos about parenting. This is kind of a personal share, one, two, three, four, five years of age they’re in an unconscious state. 

So every moment is the moment.

Yesterday could have been a year ago. Now is now, even five minutes ago could be yesterday and looking into the future doesn’t really come up. They don’t really have any sense of the future.

So they’re in the moment.

You’re rushing to get to school, you’re looking at your watch and children are stopping to look at a leaf and generally over the years, particularly the type of school our daughters go to we have learnt to allow for that. So that if my youngest stops and wants to look at a beetle or a butterfly, or look at the snow on a leaf, we’ve genuinely taken the time to stop and look.

As children get older like my eldest is now 11 years of age, she’s in a slightly different place, she is conscious but also at the same time she’s kind of an adult. I’m talking to her as an 11-year-old but at the same time I have these mature conversations with her. But she has a four-year-old sister so she still wants to be in that moment.

O here we are this morning and we are getting out the door, a little bit behind on time and I want to share this because it’s a personal reflection and this is on me now. 

What happened was it was very cold this morning, we got two electric cars and we were getting into the small electric car and my youngest was playing and we were saying, “come on Liv get into the car, it’s time to go to school we’ve got to get on our way now.”

I saw my eldest Savannah and she ran over to the Tesla and there was frost all over it, complete frost and she starts scraping the frost and drawing on it and she want to make a snowball to throw at daddy. She’s totally in the moment, her movie, her chapter at that moment is wow, it’s a frosty day we haven’t had any snow yet winter is on its way. I want to go have that experience.

Of course who follows her because the youngest model is the oldest if you’ve got kids you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. She runs after Savannah. Now I and my other half, we are in adult mode. We are in conscious mode, we are thinking time, got to get back, go to the gym, I want to get on with some work because I’m going away for an event. 

So instead of being in the moment and this a personal reflection, I was like come on get in the car we are running out of time and we put our world, our constraints, we put children who should really be children at that moment in time. We put them into a structure that has been put upon us by society, schooling system, traffic going to work whatever. We don’t work but if we were we would be rushing to get the train and we put pressure on ourselves and we put pressure on our kids.

This is a genuinely serious reflection. Honestly, I think right now there’s a huge amount of pressure on kids and without realising it us as parents are putting that upon our children, because we are fitting into a system of, I’ve got to get to work, got to get the train, get in the car go to work, whatever it is and we are getting forced into a system. That system knocks down onto us, If I’m not there by nine I’ve got to go to a meeting, so we then back it up onto our kids.

Our kids who just want to be kids, they just want to be present at this moment in time, all they want to do is be in the moment. And what do we do?

We put these tiny little daily pressures on our kids. It may not feel like a lot at that moment in time, but it builds up and I have for many years and one of the things I talk about in the purpose video, we have something called the Seekardo. The Seekardo is where a whole bunch of us hang out, we talk about communication, health, relationships, business, parenting. 

One of the series I’ve got in there is about purpose. There’s a whole video series on developing purpose and I go through this whole process of how anyone can develop a sense of purpose in any area of their life, as well as their whole life. Because a lot of people go through life and they’ve got no purpose and it puts pressure on us as individuals. In there I’ve got one description of one of the purpose statements I have in my own personal life about being a speaker and about being a great person life. And it’s about having magic moments.

A magic moment is a moment you create in an instant that people aren’t expecting. Maybe you treat somebody something you go through and you’re in a café and you pay for the person behind. You say you know what as they come to the till you put the money down and you say you want to pay for their coffee, their drinks, their meal. It’s creating a magic moment for that person. 

Kids love magic moments.

As parents we actually love the magic moments with our kids, but we say only when it’s the appropriate time. You know what, screw the appropriate time, fuck the appropriate time. If your child is in a moment and what happened was we got them off to school and they got there on time. I remember I went into the house and Stina my other half came back and literally she walked in the door and she said, “you know what honey, I think, Savannah was trying to give us a lesson early on.” I said to her I was thinking exactly the same thing. 

I was actually getting ready and packing my stuff for the evening to come away to this event tonight and I actually believe that kids are brought to us to give us a lesson. If anyone is watching this and you’re a parent you’re probably thinking yeah I get a lot of lessons from my kids.

But they are in the moment, they’re there to bring us back to that childhood to remind us and we were adults in that moment trying to be adults. Instead of going hold on a minute, they’re loving the frost, they’re playing with each other, they’re connecting which is beautiful. 

And what are we doing?

We are dragging them into our world and getting them to conform to our script, “you’re not following the script. The script said the kids get into the car really well. They sit down and they’re really excited, they’ve ignored everything around them and they’re happy to be in the car to get to school on time.”

That’s what my script said.

Their script said, “oh guess what blank canvas. Oh frost right I’ll write my new script. There was frost on daddy’s car today I wanted it to say my name. I wanted to write my name on it and I wanted to throw snow at daddy and then I wanted to get into the car and laugh about it.”

That is what a magic moment is. The magic moment is not in a get a car, you’ve got to follow our timetable, you’ve got to get to work and we do that. So I know some of you watching might kick back here and say, “Ro you don’t understand, I’ve got to get to work.”

I get all that. 

But if we consistently do that what happens to the magic moments? They go. And the only time we define them is when we go from a wow holiday, or we go for a long weekend, or at the end of the week we are all going to have some amazing time together. 

Why can’t we make those amazing moments happen all the way through the week? So what it they’re late for a minute or two to school. Yeah, okay, so they get marked late, so what? It’s a system, screw the system. 

If you have a magic moment that they remember, “Do you remember that time daddy when we wrote our name on the car and when it defrosted you could still see my name there because it left a mark on the paintwork”, or “do you remember that time I threw a snowball at you and then you fell over and then you grabbed me and we played for a while, but we were late to school but I still remember that.”

That’s a magic moment, so I guess this is a bit of a rant and a reflection and it’s a personal development video. I do video here on property. We could do a video on business, a video on communication all those things. But actually no, I want to talk about being a parent right now because for me as a communicator, I think it’s an important message to get across. 

I think there’s two things to take away from this number one, if your children are in a moment, just take a moment and Deepak Chopra says to this you must be a silent witness. Be a silent witness to the moment. What that means is stop, pause and just be grateful for it. They are teaching us a lesson, they’re saying, “hey mummy and daddy I know you’re in a rush nut guess what, you had us and you had us for a reason. And the reason is to connect with us so please connect with us right now and have this moment.”

That’s the first one.

It will be really interesting to see how the parents watching this feel about this experience and honestly reflecting and go, “you know what this is right.” And how did it make you feel when you give them that moment?

That’s the first message I want to say and this a message to me as well, it’s like when I come back on Sunday night and Monday we are on the way to school and one my kids say, “hey daddy what do you think about this?” I’m going to stop and remind myself I want to be in the moment. That’s the first thing.

The second thing is, and this is a deeper question for all you is, what are the messages you think your children are trying to give you?

What is the gift that over the next few weeks when things start to happen, ask yourself the question, what’s the message from the situation?

If you’re getting angry about something or if you’re getting aggressive towards them, not in a physical way, or if you’re feeling frustrated turn frustration to fascination. Ask yourself the question what am I supposed to learn from this?

What’s this little soul who is five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 or 11 years of age whatever age they are, what is this little soul trying to tell me as an adult that I need to learn at this moment in my life?

I can guarantee there will be something there and I’ve learned that and the fact that both myself and my lovely lady came back and had exactly the same conversation, means unconsciously and I think as we are quite conscious in our state, emotionally developed and developing constantly. We were both asking that question without even realising it and we both said do you know what the lesson Savannah was trying to tell us is, it’s okay to be in the moment.

It’s okay to stop in the rush of trying to get to school, to work whatever it is you’re doing and to enjoy the moment because most of us forget to do that, and kids are partly there I think to give us that lesson as well. Because they haven’t got into that conscious state yet.

That’s the second message I want to share with you and hopefully there’s been some insight from this. I’m about to get some food and I’m in my conscious state now because I’ve got my laptop here, my computer and I’m about to get ready to present to a bunch of people this weekend at the O2 Arena here. I’m actually at a hotel where I’m presenting just downstairs.


Dr Ro signing out.

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