If you are a parent that works does that make you absent?
I think not.. I work full time but from home and so I am there for school drop of and pick up, I can attend all school carnivals and even help out at literacy and maths..
Does working from a mobile device whilst taking your kids to the park make you absent?
Ok well yes I may not hear them on their first call of 'Mum look at me' and for sure one handed swinging is not as effective as two but we ARE at the park and they ARE having fun and they ARE still safe..
If you ignore your kids when they call from the other room because you are busy doing something does that make you absent?
When the same call can come 100 times a day then is their anything wrong with teaching them to wait?, to possibly stop screaming and come and find you face to face? or even just simply to not expect people to come running at their beckon call?
If you have a nanny does that make you absent?
Absent in body maybe but the fact that you choose to find someone to spend that one on one time with your child and the assumption that the person you hire is someone you relate to surely means you are leaving a small part of your own personality behind..
For me Absentee Parenting has nothing to do with a physical presence and everything to do with engagement between a parent and children.
When a child reaches out, of any age, a parent should be there to listen.
If a child, of any age is in pain or sick a parent should be there to calm them.
If a child does something that makes a parent proud they should let them know.
A child is always your child, and the most important thing I think you can do is let them know you are there for them.
Don't assume they know, don't forget to share your thoughts and listen to theirs whether by their side, on skype, the phone or even by letter .
Do you take the time to listen to your kids? Do you spend some quality time chatting to them once a week even if you work full time? Have you told them you are proud of who they are?