I won’t multitask at my kid’s extracurriculars. As tempting as it is to mindlessly scroll through social media. Or bring a book. Or that stack of papers I have to grade. I will do my best to remain focused on what he’s doing. Why?
I want to see what he’s learning
When he’s practicing his kata for karate, I want to have some clue if he’s doing the correct moves. Partially because I know he’s doing to be tested on how well he knows his kata. The other part is because he’s bound to ask me about it. During swim lessons, when his swim coach was reviewing the different strokes, I paid attention. I wanted to encourage him to do the same things when I brought him to the pool on my own the next week.
I don’t want to miss those exciting moments
Those moments when he FINALLY swims from one side of the pool to the other. When his sensei tells him “awesome work!” or “everyone look at how he’s doing this move.” Whenever those exciting moments happen, do you know what my son does? He immediately looks to me and his dad with a huge smile. If I was staring at my phone/computer/book/whatever, I would completely miss that moment.
There’s no such thing as multitasking
…and working mom guilt is a real thing. Sure, I might be able to switch from one task to the other, but I’m never truly doing two things at once. Multitasking would result in me half-way completing work and half-way noticing what my kid is doing. I would be doing a pretty bad job at completing my work AND paying attention to my son. Plus, I’d much rather spend 45 minutes watching my son do something he loves than take away more time to focus on work.
Try putting your phone down next time
I know there are parents who multitask at extracurriculars. Am I judging? No. I have zero clue what their life looks like outside of the dojo or swim lessons. But, I will say this: try to not multitask at least once. Give your kid your undivided attention for one practice session, and see how you like it. You might find those moments you’ve been missing are pretty awesome.