Nev­er lose sight of your children!

What I mean is – always keep them on your radar. In almost every instance of a child being ‘lost’ either phys­i­cal­ly or psy­cho­log­i­cal­ly one or both par­ents didn’t have them on their radar.

Now the obvi­ous phys­i­cal way to ‘lose’ your child can be in a super­mar­ket or depart­ment store – it hap­pened once to me, a very scary expe­ri­ence! It only takes a minute for you to be dis­tract­ed and your child drops off the radar.

Allow­ing your child ‘freedom’ to roam your neigh­bor­hood at a young age isn’t a wise thing. Some peo­ple have a false sense of the safe­ty of their neigh­bour­hood. I remem­ber the first time I let my sons ride togeth­er to a cor­ner shop. The rule was “you ride down the road togeth­er and come back the same way togeth­er”. Mean­while I stood out­side our house look­ing down the road. Every moth­er should have the abil­i­ty to men­tal­ly time a child’s trip beyond the con­fines of their home area.

Final­ly I saw one speck at the bot­tom of the road, but where was the oth­er one? The old­er, more inde­pen­dent, child chose to go anoth­er route despite my admo­ni­tions to the con­trary! Even­tu­al­ly he turned up but I wasn’t too hap­py and they prob­a­bly lost the right to that free­dom for some time, per­haps it was even crossed off the list.

On reflec­tion my old­est son has always been ‘the wan­der­er’ – when he was bare­ly walk­ing his great­est plea­sure was to chase birds along the shore­line. He always ran ahead of us and nev­er looked back! Did he just have blind faith that we would always be there? I hope so.

He has criss-crossed the coun­try too many times to count in the past cou­ple of years. I hope his blind faith is still intact.

But there came a time just over 8 years ago when my radar was so focused on my hus­band in the hos­pi­tal and the seri­ous­ness of his con­di­tion that although my youngest son was with me every day, I think the needs of both sons fell off my radar. Cer­tain­ly I didn’t see enough of my old­est son. I put his girl­friend at the time in charge of let­ting me know if he was falling seri­ous­ly into cri­sis mode, not that we weren’t all in cri­sis mode. 

It’s a tough choice to make. But I need­ed to do every­thing I could to save their father — my only choice at the time.

Those miss­ing years pain me now because there is no going back, you sim­ply can’t retrieve the time you didn’t spend with your children.

In that respect I’ve had more time than most. Home edu­ca­tion enables you to have the con­ti­nu­ity of care, learn­ing and fam­i­ly warmth that school steals – in my opinion. 

My own school­ing stole that time from me and also didn’t val­ue the week­end time I should have had with my fam­i­ly – home­work stole that time. Dur­ing those years I was off my par­ents’ radar and they assumed that I was on the school’s radar – wrong. School only pre­tends to have chil­dren on their radar, as soon as any­thing goes wrong “it’s the par­ents’ fault not ours”.

The chil­dren are yours and they need to be on your radar all the time, espe­cial­ly when they are attend­ing school. School for the most part requires fight­ing for your child’s rights but if your child hasn’t been on your radar from day one then it’s unlike­ly that you will even be aware of them when they’re at school. 

Chil­dren who are mere ‘blips’, or less, on their par­ents’ radar sel­dom do well. Those par­ents have end­less issues with their chil­dren from ear­li­est days right through to the teenage years.

Putting your chil­dren on your radar from day one with their true needs, not your own, as the focus, will reap you rewards of the kind you can­not even imagine.

Don’t lose sight of your children!