Are you really there? Being present for your kids is more than just be there physically. It’s about being there emotionally too. It’s about actually listening to their stories (no matter how long they get) and actually hearing what they have to say. It isn’t always easy with the busyness of the days, but it is important. Here are six ways you can practice being more present with your kids
- Say Yes More Often –Kids’ requests can come at the most awkward or busy times, but if you really want to show your kids you are there for them, rather than saying no try saying yes instead. This might mean dinner is late, or kids stay up a little later, but the message of the yes can be really important.
- Practice the Pause – Before walking in the door after a long day at work, take a couple of minutes to pause and regroup. Count to 10, say a prayer, or just sit quietly in the car to give yourself time to shift from work mode to family mode. This will help you get your head in the right place.
- Be the Chaperone – They might not want to talk, but just your presence driving them where they need to go may be the best opportunity for you to reconnect after a long day or get some details about their day. It’s also a great strategy to catch up on what is really going on while your kids and their friends talk in the backseat. You can learn a lot this way…
- Actually Listen to What They Have to Say – When your kids are talking to you, stop, make eye contact, and actually listen to what they have to say. Don’t give them distracted uh huh’s while you work on something else. Everyone wants to be heard.
- Watch the Movie – Whether it is movie night, game night, or any other kind of family night give your full attention and presence to what is going on. Put down the phone, laundry, or whatever else is distracting you and just take part in the fun. There’s always going to be laundry…
- Put Down the Phone – Make it easier to give up the distraction of the phone, by keeping your phone on silent and removing social media temptations.