“Be with me,” I say, each time they get in my car, visit my home, or eat at a restaurant with me.  My grandchildren, from seven to twenty-seven years old, know that it is important to me that they put away their phones and electronic games and talk to me.

I understand that it is acceptable behavior to many, but I am insulted when they would rather talk to someone who is not with us more than they want to talk to me (or their parents, or each other). I am the one who altered her schedule to take them to the dentist, shopping, or to lunch. They are not going to take up my time and money and ignore me.  I demand that my presence be acknowledged, and that they talk to me.

Here are several of my reasons:

  • They hear many voices and opinions every day. I want to be sure they hear biblical wisdom. No, I do not always quote scripture, but I share Godly principles.
  • Their hopes and dreams are important to me. This helps me know how to pray for them and how to encourage them.
  • When they fall, I want them to be able to tell me rather than a peer who has no meaningful solution to the problem.
  • When they excel, I want to be one of their loudest, most excited cheerleaders.
  • I like making memories. We cannot make a meaningful, enjoyable memory if everyone is on their phones talking to invisible people while we walk through the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

How do you feel about this practice of being in the presence of people who are talking to someone somewhere else?