This time of year, it can be easy to get caught up in all the chaos of the holidays. We all want to buy our children the best gift that money can buy. But what many don’t realize is that it is far more important to be present with your children, than it is to buy them presents. So, I have put together “7 ways to be a more present parent”
Your family deserves your presence, just as much as your deserve theirs. An hour spent truly enjoying each others company is far better than just living together.
Raising children isn’t easy and its not for the faint of heart. I know all too well how easy it is to distance myself from my family. We are all so easily distracted these days. It blow my mind that every hold this amazing technology that could bring every one together and we are all further apart than ever.
A while ago I decided it was time to be more present in the lives of my loved ones. It has made a big difference in all of my relationships.
Put the technology away for a bit
I do not allow cell phones during supper any more. In doing this, we have gotten closer as a family. Making every one put their phones down has given us the opportunity to just talk. We all discuss how our days went, what was our favorite part of the day, what was the worst part.
Another thing we do is game night. This is something my sister started doing we us and it has been so much fun! We laugh until our bellies hurt. I defiantly feel present as a parent when we are playing. Its something we all look forward to now. I’m always looking for a new game to play at our next game night.
A few of our favorite games are
- Monopoly Super Electronic Banking Board Game, Electronic Banking Unit, Choose Your Rewards, Cashless Gameplay Tap Technology, for Ages 8 and Up“>Credit card monopoly (this one if fun for all ages and doesn’t take as long to play as regular monopoly)
Making an effort to put the technology down and be in the moment has significantly improved my relationship with the kids. I defiantly feel like I’m more present as a parent
Great memories are better than stuff
For the holidays every year, we like to go on a trip as a family. Going on vacation really brings people together. When I asked my kids what they got for gifts last year, they didn’t really remember the things. But they remembered all the little details of our trip. Our family outings make me a more present parent.
When it comes to gift giving, I always try to give the gift of moments rather than things. Moments are far more memorable and last a life time.
Being mindful means focusing on now. Be in the moment. Don’t waste time thinking about a week from now, an hour from now. Just be here now.
Yes, the screaming chaos might drive you insane right now. But before you know it, your house will be quiet. Your kids make messes, but don’t get too upset. Soon enough, your home will always be clean. And when that days comes, you’ll miss the screaming, you’ll miss the messes. So be here, be now.
If you a new to practicing mindfulness check out this post to help you get started
Be genuinely interested in what they have to say
I know you’ve had a long day. You’re kid is rambling on and on in the background while you’re thinking about a million different things. Take a moment and pause your thoughts. Look at your child, put your hand on your shoulder so they know you hear them. And just really listen, even if only for a moment. And ask questions. Ask for more details.
This will, for one, make your child feel important and heard and two: make you feel better for paying attention.
I know we can’t always drop everything to listen to their stories. But make sure you try to every so often. This will help you learn them better.
Involve them in things
Even in the mundane, every day tasks. Try in involve them as much as you can. Its a great way to spend time together while getting your stuff done. Invite them to help cook supper. Spike up a conversation while washing dishes. Do you best to involve them in what you can.
Make time for them
Just like how we schedule time for everything else, be sure to set aside time for them. A simple ten minutes can make a huge difference. Set a timer if you have too, just make sure you get a few minutes with them.
Leave work at work
Every one has a bad day at work from time to time. Just be sure to leave that crap at work. As soon as you walk in the front door, all frustrations from work should be gone. When you bring your frustrations home with you, it will rub off on every one else. You will have a short fuse and likely take it out on your family. Leaving little to no room to be present with your children.
Related post “Ten things to do to shake a bad mood”
I hope these tips can help you be present with your children. I know its not always easy to make changes, but just give yourself grace. Take it one day at a time.
Leave me a comment below and tell me what are some things you do to be present with your children.
‘Til next time,