Parental Presence and Connection

I was in a café earlier waiting for my daughter’s exam to finish and was sat next to two different sets of dads who had bought their children out for lunch.
Now, credit where credit is due, the fact they bought out their children for a random lunch is a great thing. There are lots of parents who don’t do that, so it’s good to see.
But there was something I noticed with both:
– One dad was watching the United match on his phone for the majority of the time, whilst his daughter was eating silently.
– The other dad was physically there, but mentally elsewhere. His son was asking 50 questions and he was answering 1 or 2 word answers.
Looking at this as an independent observer felt strange. The children seemed ok, but you could tell they didn’t get the ‘quality time’ they were expecting with their dad.
The problem is, I know I have done this quite a few times when taking the children out. But you don’t feel it because you are in the moment.
A note to self – kids pick up on a lot more than we realise and so it’s good every now and again to give them ‘sufficient’ attention in these 1-1 situations even if you’ve got a lot on your mind or bored. Exchange stories, give them life advice, teach them about Allah, tell jokes etc.
They will appreciate it and its impact will be greater than we realise.
PS: To clarify I was busy working on my laptop and NOT spying on these guys!