Parenting is something that many people consider a rewarding part of life, but it can also be a challenge to juggle raising kids while having a busy life with a career. If you’re a parent trying to do it all, how can you stay present and engaged with your children? As a parent, you know how important it is to connect with your kids, but how can you do this in your busy lives? Here are some tips:
Be present in the mundane
Whether you’re driving the kids to school or changing your little one’s bamboo training diapers, there are many times when it may be easy to disconnect from everything or stay distracted by stress. At the same time, you do the “mindless” everyday routines and responsibilities.
However, these moments can be great times to bond with your kids. The drive to school can be a good time to share fun stories from childhood, helping create core memories for you and your kids. Bathing your baby has to happen, but making it a time to sing songs and connect in your own way with your infant can help you start the habit of connecting even in the mundane parts of life.
Set aside non-phone/distraction time
If there is something that can make it hard for you and the kids to connect, it’s using phones at home. Consider setting aside specific times during the day for non-phone times. This could be dinnertime or when everyone gets home from school and work.
While you may have a lot of work to do with your phone, setting the example to your kids that you’re more than willing to make the world wait in order to connect with them will not only set a precedent of good habits for their future but it can also allow you to all truly bond and be engaged for an hour or so in what could otherwise be a distracting and busy day.
Try for one-on-one parent/child dates
If you’re a parent of multiple children, finding time to stay engaged with each child can be challenging. While you may have designated family time, your children could benefit from more focused, individual time with you.
This may look like scheduling time together throughout the week, and one day could be for one child while another day later in the week is set for the other one. It may take time and expert scheduling, but just as you want quality time with the people you love, your little ones also want specific time with the people they love.
Have an evening/morning routine to connect
With busy lives, from school and classes to work and errands, it can be really challenging to connect and be present with your loved ones. This is why it’s essential to do exactly that: make the time.
Whether you plan to start your day with a hearty breakfast where everyone can connect, or it’s easier to schedule post-dinner time for relaxing and playing games together, try to create a time each day for connection. It can be a half-hour if that’s all you have or an hour or more if you can make it happen.
Encourage sharing of emotions and feelings
If you’re hoping to stay engaged and present with your kids, you’ll want to create an environment where they feel like they can share what’s going on in their lives.
Having a safe space where your kids can express themselves can help you raise kids that become adults who are capable of self-regulation, connection, and stress management. You could even consider family therapy a tool for deeper connection and handling difficult situations or emotions.
From bonding with your baby through the little moments to setting aside time to be engaged with your older children, staying present with your little ones is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. It will make all the difference!