It is only natural for little kids to want to spend time with their parents. You’ll often find them trying to work out all their activities in such a way that they can have you near. My kids ask to play their games and do their homework in my room, or they try to get me to go with them to the parlour. It’s not strange to have them come with their plates of food to my room, hoping to be allowed to eat there. They’ll say, ‘Mummy I’ll sit on the floor; I won’t make a mess, I promise’. Convincing them to give you room when you need some ‘me time’ can be quite a challenge sometimes, and requires some skill.
The skill is not too complicated, in fact, it is pretty straight forward. Let me use Micah as a case study. At his age, he loves to go for walks outside the house. I guess he hasn’t seen enough of the sky and really enjoys the cool breeze so he looks for every opportunity to go out. Once you’ve made the necessary arrangements for him to spend some time outdoor, he walks off with pleasure. He’s happy, and I’m happy – a perfect win-win situation.
The last time this scenario played out, I marvelled at the fact that even children have the ‘What’s in it for me’ mentality. This knowledge can be applied in interpersonal relationships as well as in teamwork. It seems people just have a natural inclination to seek their own good. Someone said that’s why the first person you look for in that picture is yourself. So we can be strategic in our approach and achieve stronger and better relationships as a whole.
Now I can say it’s a good thing to find out a little more about the people, the organizations, and other entities we want to engage and get to know a little more about them – their values, preferences, needs, and so on – and spend some time thinking about what value we can add to them, then proceed with that in mind.. A simple way to put it would be: find what you have to offer that they will be happy to receive.
I think this is an important concept to keep in mind.