Minimum Parental Effort

Family watching TVAs I looked out of our apartment complex’s exercise club window into the playground I saw a toddler in one of the swings…

Her mom gave her a single push while actively chatting on her smart phone (and holding the leash of two dogs which, coincidentally, shouldn’t be in the playground).

The toddler had her head turned away from the bright sun and just sat there as her chair swung slower…

And slower…

And slower…

I thought to myself, “That is ‘minimum effort parenting.'”

Which may be a bit harsh since I do not know anything about the two of them (and the canines) beyond that one, small slice of their existence here on earth.

However, I do know that I have been guilty of minimum effort parenting, and I suspect as entertaining ourselves becomes so easy, ubiquitous, and individual…minimum effort parenting is becoming a greater issue. (It was bad enough when the TV became our primary babysitter.)

And I also know that good parenting requires more than minimum (or minimal) effort. It is a blessing beyond almost all others, but it is not something that can be done correctly in quick snippets of time, while multi-tasking, or only when it is convenient to our schedules.

Finally, I know from experience that “full effort parenting” is so much more rewarding than anything I can do by instead putting in minimum effort.

Please remind me of this when I am on my iPad, Michelle is on her iPhone, Mikey is on his laptop, and Augie is using the Kindle Fire HD… 🙁


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