Attunement means having a better understanding of what is needed or wanted by someone. To be checked in is to be in attunement. It is very important to be attuned to anyone with whom you have an important relationship, and I would expand the definition to include understanding your important persons’ experience of life, past and present.
How does a person become checked in? Mostly by being a good student of your important person. Watching what they do, listening to what they say. Asking questions to find out what they think and why they think that way, how they feel and why, what it was like to grow up in their family, etc.
Think about who in your life you feel “gets you”, understands you, seems connected to you. Why do you feel that way? I would suggest it is at least somewhat because they show interest in you, listen to you, show you that you are important.
How does one person show interest in another? They make frequent eye contact. They listen without interrupting. They remember some of what is said to them. They ask curious questions, such as “how was it when that happened?’, or “what was that like for you?”. They make time, without distraction. That means they turn off (not mute) the television, don’t answer or look at their phone when their person is talking with them, shut down the computer, pause and turn off the game.
Remember; every time your person cannot get your undistracted attention, the message they are getting from you is: “You are not as important to me as my (game, email, TV show, Facebook,etc.)”. Think about that. Is that the message you want to give?
How will you know what your person wants or needs from you? ASK THEM.
When you come home, ask “What can I help with?”, or “What do you need from me?” Listen to the answer. Can you do it? Will you do it?
How important is that person to you? Are they important enough to check in?