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FISH! Philosophy – Be There: One-to-One with G2

This happened one day…

G1: Mum, can you sit here and watch me write?

What? Are you kidding me? I spent the entire morning with you and now I want you to entertain yourself for a bit while I get some household chores done and you want me to twiddle my thumbs while you busy yourself with an activity that doesn’t require my full attention?

At the time, I didn’t understand. But now, I think I get it. Even though I am a constant presence in their lives and I spend a lot of time with them, I am not always “present”. The FISH! Philosophy explains it better…


Be There: When people need you, they need all of you. Setting aside distractions and judgments to be fully present is a sign of respect. It improves communication and strengthens relationships.

FISH - be there

With our fast-paced, hectic lifestyles, there is rarely enough time in a day to do all the things we want to do. I have noticed that even when I am physically present, I am often emotionally absent because I’m thinking about other things (most probably because I’m attempting to multitask – which we know doesn’t work) and my boys feel it.

It did not occur to me until I bumped into an acquaintance in an elevator. She asked me about my Chinese New Year and it must have been half a minute before I realised she had asked me a question.

So now I’m making it a point to spend a little time each day with each of my boys where I am “all there”.

One-to-One Time with G2 in the morning before school…

One on one in Malaysia...

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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