Are you looking for ways to stay present as a parent? If so, you aren’t alone! This is a common challenge in our busy society.
We only have our kids for an average of 18 years, and we need to make the most of that time by being fully present. They need our time, our attention, and our love. Being present is one of the BEST ways to win and keep your kids hearts.
Finding ways to be a present parent is a common problem for most parents today. So many things are calling for our attention that we have to be very careful and purposeful about being present with our children and giving them our focus.
Here are 7 simple ways to stay present as a parent:
1. Determine to focus your energy and attention on what is eternal.
Often we get so caught up in the busyness of life that we forget what is truly important. We rush here and there from one activity to the next, often tuning out what is going on with the kids.
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We let those things that are urgent take precedence over what is eternal.
We need to be aware of what our kids are doing and saying, and look for opportunities to take time to train their hearts. This requires being close to them AND paying attention to what is going on, rather than tuning them out.
We need to keep in mind the important responsibility we have to disciple our children, as this is what will count for eternity.
2. Take advantage of travel time.
Engage your kids in conversation when you are driving to the store, or an activity.
Play word games or talk about things they enjoy talking about, and make it a fun time for them.
They will enjoy having your attention, and will look forward to future outings.
3. Slow down.
Don’t fill up every moment of every day, or you end up stressed and short with the kids.
Leave margin, and remember to “take time to smell the roses.”
When your day is too packed, you tend to rush right past those moments when you can be fully present and enjoy the time with your children.
4. Put your phone away.
There’s no greater way to make your child feel insignificant than for you to always be looking at your phone when they are with you.
Have set times daily when your kids are playing on their own or doing chores, to check your email, Facebook, or Pinterest.
5. Have dinner together as a family, and make that time count.
A meal together is one of the best ways to create a family bond, and is something you should make a priority.
During dinner take time to ask each of the kids about their day, or how something is going that they are interested in and excited about.
Let each of them have a turn to talk and share.
6. Stop what you are doing and look at your child when he talks to you.
We taught our kids that part of being attentive is listening with their ears and eyes.
When your child asks you a question, look at them and listen to their words.
If by chance you are in the middle of something that can’t wait, let them know that you really want to hear what they have to say, and will sit and listen to them as soon as you finish.
Giving your children your undivided attention and really listening to their words is a great way to win their hearts!
7. Set aside some time daily just for them.
While it is important to be aware throughout the day of what is going on, it’s also good to have a set time daily where you stop everything you are doing, and do something with them.
During this time be intentional about giving them your full attention.
If you make this part of your daily routine, you will plan on it and will be able to focus fully on that time with them, rather than thinking of all the other things you could or should be doing.
Be fully engaged and focused during this time.
Remember that being present intentionally so you can disciple your children is more important than anything else on your to-do list.
What are some of your favorite ways to stay present as a parent today?
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I am sure this is a challenge most parents face these days. Since there are so many diversions present, staying for the child and listening to their chatter can seem like impossible. The tips you have shared are amazing but a person should also be willing to make these compromises which is mostly not the case.
Thanks Taylor! I’m glad you enjoyed the ideas, and recognized the need to just slow down. 🙂
I think these ideas are great! I have felt the Lord’s conviction to do many of these things for the upcoming year before I even read your post and am setting goals to work on them, such as active listening and setting aside special time with my kids each day. The one thing I hadn’t thought of that you mentioned, and I think is very wise, is not scheduling too much in one day in order to take more time to “stop and smell the roses” to not feel so rushed. That is definitely an area I need to work on! Thank you sharing your wisdom with us!
Maryke, I will definitely pray for you! It’s easy to get so busy that we feel we can’t take time to look at our kids and give them our full attention. Busyness can be our greatest enemy, so it’s important to choose what is important to you, and what can go from your schedule. Praying God blesses you in 2018!
Points 3,6 & 7 I need to work on. Please will you pray with me to be aware of slowing down, to leave the stuff that can wait … Many times I’m so impatient when my kids wants to talk to me that I don’t stop what I’m busy doing to look them in the eye. I know that I have too many responsibilities & I’m working on having alone time with each child in 2018.