Being Present with Your Children is Easy
Parenting is not about doing the “big” excursion, it’s in the everyday moments.
In the age of “mindfulness”, it’s all the rage to be “present” with your children. Through the daily grind of changing diapers, making snacks and diffusing fights, as parents, we are expected to spend more time with our children. We are expected to “connect” with them and to enjoy our time with them.
We are ignoring one fact: our children are different people than we are.
They are not only from a different generation, they are also different people. Their “likes” and “dislikes” may be very different than ours. While we may be introverts, they may be extroverts. While we played with dolls when we were little, they may love cars and dinosaurs.
Connecting with our children should not be a chore.
It should be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Connecting with our children should not only be the job of one parent. Rather, it should be the job of everyone within the family.
How do we connect with our children, be present, and enjoy our time together?
The solution is quite simple. It lies in living cooperatively.
Rather than hoping for “quality” time together on the weekends by planning activities, then, due to some unforeseen issues, we are disappointed at the outcome.
Why can’t we connect with our children over simple, repetitive moments of every day instead?
Give your child a hug
It doesn’t matter what age your child is. A hug is a great way to show warmth to your child. Hug your child for no reason what’s so ever every day. This will remind your child that your heart is always there even if you are exhausted.
Have a conversation with your child
Children learn emotions by having their feelings validated. Start a conversation with your child by asking a question, then listening to their response. Then, empathize with their feelings around the issue. Finally, talk through your child’s feelings.
Work together with your child
Every day, we are sidetracked by our chores. They seem to never end. Why not do your chores with your child? Ask your child to help you make the bed. Ask your child to water the plants while you vacuum the living room. Give your child a cloth wipe and ask your child to wipe down the table. Performing these simple activities, your child can feel a family connection.
Slow down one moment and savor it with your child
In the busyness of every day, take one moment every day, slow it down. Then, savor it with your child. For example, while walking your child to school, you can stop by a beautiful patch of flowers. Comment on the flowers and smell the flowers with your child. Then, talk about those flowers on your way to school. Years later, your child won’t remember the flowers that you spoke about. But, your child will remember the joy from this moment of closeness.
Show your child a passion that’s important to you
Rather than trying to play with your child at your child’s level, show your child a passion of yours. If you love drawing, draw with your child. If you love writing, write with your child. If you love playing ball, then play ball with your child. It doesn’t matter if your child is interested in this activity or not. It doesn’t matter if your child has a talent for the activity. Your passion will inspire your child to find their passion. Sharing the moment is much more important.
It’s not complicated. It’s easy when you make time. It’s easy when you simply focus. As much time as you can spare a moment, you will see your children light up.
About the Author
Jun Wu is a Content Writer for Technology, AI, Data Science, Psychology, and Parenting. She has a background in programming and statistics. On her spare time, she writes poetry and blogs on her website.