After hearing the Benevolent Dictator recount the lament of his friend’s vexation that his spoiled college-aged daughter often ignores his phone calls (unless she wants something), I was motivated to remind my own girls of something. It’s one of those common sense things that we all tend to lie to ourselves -and to others- about to some degree, and it’s this:
We make time for the people whose company, time, and opinions we enjoy or value.
Barring rare exceptions, this is simply and unequivocally true.It doesn’t matter how much we say we love someone, or how fervently we proclaim how much they mean to us, the proof of that is revealed in how willing we are to make room for them in our lives.
This seems to be a revelation in 2017, as so many young people brush off interactions and visits with parents, grandparents, and other family members under the guise of “busyness”. These self-same people have endless time to chat with friends from school and work; or at the very least, shoot them a text message. That they don’t understand that this behavior is a revelation of their relational priorities is the conundrum of the day for me.
I have a niece like this as well, so while I can’t appreciate the feeling of having my child ignore my attempts to connect, I do know on a much less emotional level, how annoying this can be. I wasn’t the best at keeping in touch with my grandparents as a teenager, so I get that this is often just part of that age. However, with the now ubiquitous cell phone perpetually glued to the hands of just about anyone under the age of 35, there is really no excuse for a child not to answer the calls of their parents or grandparents.
I’ll take it a step further, even. Our oldest daughter has a standing reservation to chat with her grandmother every Wednesday at 4:30 PM. She almost never misses that date because she set an alarm on her phone to ensure that she doesn’t forget.When she has to miss it, she calls to let her grandmother know that she will be busy and they talk later in the week.
I had such a set up for my aunt a while back -once a month that was- but when I switched phones I never set up the new reminder. With exceptions for holidays, her birthday, and what would be her wedding anniversaries, I usually forget to call her for about 6 weeks at a time. I will set a reminder on my phone to rekindle that habit.
In the unlikely event that you do happen to be so busy that you simply can’t answer a call from your mother or father, or your life is so jam packed you forget to call, make good use of your cell phone and set a reminder to call the people without whom you wouldn’t have life and health. Or friends.
Your willingness to do at least that much is a concrete example for yourself and your family that they are a priority in your life. Remember:
You make time for those you prioritize.