Whether you’re a working parent, or a stay at home parent; one thing’s for sure-your child is aware of your any and every move. So, it’s so important to remain positive, to model appropriate behaviors, and to also be present to them and their needs. Not sure how you can make yourself more available? Read on to find out!
Put Down the Technology
As a society, we’ve become glued to technology. When you’re constantly on it around your children, you could be sending them the wrong message. While you may have to take a call from time to time, or read a pressing work email; your child doesn’t understand what you are doing. They see you giving your time and attention to something other than them. And, if you’re a working parent who doesn’t spend the majority of your day with your kids, this could lead to future problems. So, in order to be more present, designate social media, text, and email time after your kids go to bed!
Involve Them As Much As You Can
A common complaint of many parents is that they need to get stuff done around their house. Whether it’s cleaning, laundry, yard work, or cooking; it often seems like there’s just not enough time in the day. But, your kids don’t understand that. While you can’t devote every breathing moment to them, you can start to include them in your tasks. It not only teaches them about responsibility, but it encourages conversation, it promotes hands on learning, and it can be a means of bonding for everyone. Make it a point to take them to the grocery store, help you fold laundry, and prepare dinner. This makes them feel important and will make you more available to them as they grow and start to need you more for various reasons.
Another great way to be more present is to establish a routine at home with your child. Be the person to give them a bath each night. Read several stories at six pm. Take a nightly walk before bed. Do something that consistently happens together. Your child will look forward to it, expect it, and even rely on it. Plus, it forces you to stop what you’re doing and enjoy the little things and special moments in life that tend to pass by too quickly.
Power Through Tantrums and Troubles
Often times, toddlers act out to get attention. Could it be because they miss you throughout the day? Are they frustrated because they can’t fully express the way that they are feeling? A great way to be present is to let them work through their tantrums and to issue awareness statements. Acknowledging how they feel and how they’re acting is a great way to remain present. Tell them you understand they are upset. Use phrases such as “I see you’re feeling..” or “We can make this better by..” Your child’s feelings will be validated and support will be offered rather than leaving the room and fully ignoring the situation.
Get Hands On
Kids of all ages need physical affection from their parents. Be sure to spend lots of time hugging, cuddling, and holding hands. If your kids are older, and are getting too big for a cuddle; simply put your hand on their shoulder or waist to greet them. That physical connection helps bring you together and helps make you in the present moment with them.
There is no such thing as a perfect parent. But, when parents are present in their children’s lives, behaviors decrease, achievement soars, and families tend to be happier overall. Consider the five tips above to put your presence to the test and to step up your parenting game to benefit everyone!