This week I challenge moms and dads to be fully present. While many of us are spending more time with our children now more than ever before some of us are not actually present. We are in the same room, but we are unaware of our children’s feelings, behavior, perspective, etc. Mainly because there are many things competing for our attention.
Here are 5 ways to be fully present and attentive
The best thing we can do as parents is to take time to get to know and understand our children, so being fully present is showing up 100%.
(1) Designate family “unplug” times for an hour or two where you are just giving your child your time and attention. Louise B. Miller, Ph.D., an Integrative Mental Health Specialist and author says,”Take your emotional temperature throughout the day; monitor your feelings.”So this is important for us as parents it is even more important for us to extend the opportunity to learn this to our children.
(2) Stop whatever you’re doing when you child needs to talk and look at him or her in their eyes. Connect with them and learn more about your child. Louise B. Miller, Ph.D., an Integrative Mental Health Specialist and author says,”Take your emotional temperature throughout the day; monitor your feelings.”So this is important for us as parents it is even more important for us to extend the opportunity to learn this to our children.
Assist Your Children With Their Needs
(3) Sometimes, when our kids see so many different things occupying our time, they are afraid to ask for her. When we give them uninterrupted family time, we find out what their needs are and can assist them with what they may need.
If your child needs you to hug or hold them, do so. It’s critical that we access the situation and provide affection when it is needed the most.
Direct Them honestly
(4) Our kids are not looking for our impressive lies, they know our truths so we can be honest with them without fault or judgement. When we talk with them we shouldn’t tower over them with our conversations, instead we should get down on their levels and make eye-contact. With our interactions they are learning how to trust us.
(5) All kids need encouragement from time-to-time and so do we. Validation is a universal human need. One way to actively show our children validation is to “communicate that you can understand your child’s experience and restate what your child is saying” as an active part of listing according to Debra Kessler, Psy.D.
Lastly, the best thing that we can do as parents to be present in the moments where they need is to take time to get to know and understand our children. One way for parents who have a hard time dividing their time is to actually put this time to be fully present directly on their daily to-do calendar so it can provide accountability and serve as a reoccurring reminder to make time for what is important in our lives.