Be Conscious Parent
Moms… and particularly Mom Bloggers… are you finding yourself constantly distracted by your digital devices?
You are not alone. I discovered this when I received a flood of comments from friends when I wrote this post on Happy Human Pacifier after watching a Mom Conference video about Hand in Hand Parenting.
Who knew that many of friends were feeling just as guilty as I was for being a distracted parent?
Collectively, we have all decided to focus on being more present, being more conscious as we parent our precious children. And so I asked writer Gemma Reeves to research this topic and come up with a post on how we can be more present with our children. Enjoy…
Seven Ways to Be More Present with Your Child
It is a universal fact that parents work hard to give their children better lives and future. Every single day, parents juggle work and house life to provide the financial, emotional, and physical needs of their children. However, we all know that what really matters to our children is our being present with them.
It can be tricky though because being always physically present does not necessarily equate to being present in your child’s life.
So what does being present with your child really mean? And why does it matter?
We’ve all heard about absent parents who lavish their children with money and gifts but fail to form emotional and deeper relationships with them.
And there are also some testimonies of stay-at-home mothers who are with their children in most times of the day, but still feel as though something is lacking in their relationship with their children.
How come being physically there and not being there can both be inadequate?
What really makes an impact on the lives of children is not how much time parents spend with them or many presents we lavish on them. We make a difference when we play an active role in their lives in showing them our love and support, giving them our time, and teaching them life lessons they can never pick up from school.
Children should understand that they do not need new toys, new clothes, new anything to feel loved and whole. All these feelings should be secured by their parents.
Social worker Carla Naumburg, Ph.D, and author of the book Parenting in the Present Moment: How to Stay Focused on What Really Matters writes that being present is simply about being with what is, right now, in the moment, without judging the situation or hoping it was different.
So how can a parent do that?
Here are seven simple and powerful ways you can be more present in the lives of your children.
1. Slow down
In this day and age, everything and everyone seems to be in a rush. But rushing around can take its toll on us down to how we deal with our children. Stress makes us rigid, controlling, and unhappy. This is why, to raise a happy home for our kids, we need to slow down. When we are relaxed, we become more receptive to the children, our patience is stretched longer, and we are then able to accommodate some time for doing nothing but enjoying time spent with the kids.
2. Keep your cool
It’s true, when we’re angry or upset over even the smallest things, the wires in our head are all over the place and making any right decision is impossible. When you’re upset with your partner or your topsy-turvy workspace is stressing you badly, keep your cool and don’t take it on your child. Once your mind has relaxed and becomes peaceful, you can be more present for your child.
3. Don’t just listen
When your child is telling you something or when you are telling something to your child, practice looking at them in the eye. Just as much as adults want their feelings and thought matter, so do kids. If you are really too busy to take a pause to look at and listen to your child, gently tell him to wait for a few moments so you can give him your full attention.
4. Lessen screen time
We’re all here in the now and the now comes with gadgets of every kind. But technology cannot be the whole world to us, especially to our children.
To set an example to your kids, put away your iPads and shut off the computer, and spend time doing chores, having milk and cookies, or just having fun with them. When they enjoy spending time together with you more than spending their time tapping on their phones, they will come to learn which is more valuable.
5. Let them make a mess
Allow them to be children and have fun, even when it means they are going to make a huge mess. Let them enjoy what they have now as kids and this will help kids appreciate their lives better.
6. Give kids some space
Being present for your kids doesn’t mean you need to hover over them 24/7. Your kids will also need some space for themselves, and allow them to have one. When your child cries after stumbling over a piece of toy block, allow him to get up by himself. You do not need to rush to his side when he cries. If your child is throwing a tantrum, let him cry until he grows tired of it. It will help him become more tolerable.
7. Teach them to appreciate
Appreciating should not be limited to the new stuff you buy them or those glittery boxes under the Christmas tree. While on the road, you can point to them the animals you see on the side of the road or the rainbow painted across the sky, and teach them to appreciate simpler things in life. Explain to them the value of the food you have on the table, and how fortunate they are to have food fill in their tummies.
When you teach children to appreciate, you teach them to value life more.
What we give to our children while they are young, they take with them when they are old. The values that we teach to their minds will take seed in their hearts, and will grow into them as they mature. Do not just simply be a provider for your children. Make your presence in their lives create a good impact. Remember that as you live only once, your children also have one life to live and that life had better be a good one.
About the Author:
Gemma Reeves is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients in different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business.
Check out her company here: FindMyWorkspace
Moms, what strategies have you put in place to parent more consciously?
I have been playing loads of lego and doing lots of painting with my son lately. I also jump on the trampoline with him whenever I get the chance.
And I try as often as possible to allow my son to lead play.
If we go out for a walk, I’ll often let him choose which direction we’ll take. On Sunday afternoon this resulted in an hour-and-a-half-long hike along the beach path – and often off the beach path up and down the dunes as my son discovered “bundu bashing” was way more fun. I had visions of carrying him half the way back but thankfully he made it!
Oh my goodness, my little boy is growing up. Definitely don’t want to miss these beautiful moments.
Would love to hear what activities you enjoying doing with your little one(s). Please leave a comment below.