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8 Ways to Be Present With Your Kids

Make your kids feel special today! Mighty Mommy shares 8 ways that you can be present with your kids, and most of them require just a small shift in how you manage your day.

By
Cheryl Butler
Episode #336

As we go along our busy day, it’s easy for parents to get swept away with our seemingly never ending “to do” lists and forget that our children need us to connect with them instead of hurriedly rushing them along like another one of our tasks.

If there’s one thing all kids, young and old, want from their moms and dads it’s their undivided attention. That may seem impossible on days when you’re rushing out the door for work, up to your eyeballs in dirty diapers and laundry, and haven’t had a moment to yourself in weeks, but finding a few quality moments with your family doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it is a lot simpler than you think.

Mighty Mommy shares 8 ways that you can be present with your kids, and most of them require just a small shift in how you manage your day.

Tip #1: Connect With Your Eyes 

I know as an adult who usually has her plate too full with commitments and obligations that when I talk to someone, I would like his or her full attention, even if it’s only for a minute. It’s extremely unsettling to me if the person I’m engaging in conversation with never looks up at me and continues to work on his or her computer, sift through paperwork—whatever—and nonchalantly nod at my request and then go back to what they were doing as if I don't matter one bit. Kids are no different. If you want to really be present with your little guy or strapping young teen, stop what you’re doing when he or she needs to talk to you and make eye contact.  And don’t forget to share a warm smile! When your kids know they have your interest, they will feel great about coming to you in good times and bad.

Tip #2: Be Well Rested

The benefits of getting enough sleep are many, but one of the biggest is that when you feel well-rested, you have more energy for caring for your family all day long. If you’re stealing time in the wee hours of the morning or burning the midnight oil on a regular basis, chances are you awake tired and cranky.  Getting to bed earlier and catching a few extra Z’s can help keep you refreshed, so you can enjoy your family each and every day.

Tip #3: Live in Their Moment

When was the last time you sat and quietly observed what your child was doing? Take a moment to watch your daughter running after your dog. Comment to her, “Katie, you are so fast when you chase Molly around. Look how much Molly loves it when you hop on one foot to try and catch her.” If you do this a few times a week, your child is going to soak up the extra attention like a happy little sponge.  See Also: "Board" om Busters For Your Kids

Tip #4:  Put Your Cell Phone Away

Some habits are hard to break, and in this digital world we live and breathe, our smart phones seem to be attached to many of us 24/7.  When you walk through the door from work or your children get off the bus and come into the house, get into the habit of putting your phone away. Once you’ve chatted about their day and they’re busy with homework or playing, then take it out again if you need to check messages, etc. My rule of thumb is this—if one of my 8 kids is in the vicinity, my phone can be close by but not in the palm of my hand.

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About the Author

Cheryl Butler

Cheryl L. Butler is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. Call the Mighty Mommy listener line at 401-284-7575 to ask a parenting question. Your call could be featured on the show!

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