It is a universal fact that parents work hard to give their children better lives and future. Every single day, parents juggle work and house life to provide the financial, emotional, and physical needs of their children. However, we all know that what really matters to our children is our being present with them. It can be tricky though, because being always physically present does not necessarily equate to being present in your child’s life. So what does being present with your child really mean? And why does it matter?
We’ve all heard about absent parents who lavish their children with money and gifts, but fail to form emotional and deeper relationships with them. And there are also some testimonies of stay-at-home mothers who are with their children in most times of the day, but still feel as though something is lacking in their relationship with their children. How come being physically there and not being there can both be inadequate?
What really makes an impact in the lives of children are not measured on how much time parents spend with them or much presents we lavish on them. We make a difference when we play an active role in their lives in showing them our love and support, giving them our time, and teaching them life lessons they can never pick up from school. Children should understand that they do not need new toys, new clothes, new anything to feel loved and whole. All these should be secured by their parents.
Social worker Carla Naumburg, Ph.D, and author of the book Parenting in the Present Moment: How to Stay Focused on What Really Matters – writes that being present is simply about being with what is, right now, in the moment, without judging the situation or hoping it were different. So how can a parent do that? Here are seven simple and powerful ways you can be more present in the lives of your children.
At this day and age, everything and everyone seem to be in a rush. But rushing around can take its toll on us down to how we deal with our children. Stress makes us rigid, controlling, and unhappy. This is why, to raise a happy home for our kids, we need to slow down. When we are relaxed, we become more receptive to the children, our patience is stretched longer, and we are then able to accommodate some time for doing nothing but enjoying time spent with the kids.
Keep Your Cool
It’s true, when we’re angry or upset over even the smallest things, the wires in our head are all over the place and making any right decision is impossible. When you’re upset with your partner or your topsy turvy workspace is stressing you badly, keep your cool and don’t take it on your child. Once your mind has relaxed and become peaceful, you can be more present for your child.
Don’t Just Listen
When you child is telling you something or when you are telling something to your child, practice to look at them in the eye. Just as much as adults want their feelings and thoughts to matter, so do kids. If you are really too busy to take a pause to look at and listen to your child, gently tell him to wait for a few moments so you can give him your full attention.
Lessen Screen Time
We’re all here in the now and the now comes with gadgets of every kind. But technology cannot be the whole world to us, especially to our children. To set an example to your kids, put away your iPads and shut off the computer, and spend time doing chores, having milk and cookies, or just having fun with them. When they enjoy spending time together with you more than spending their time tapping on their phones, they will come to learn which is more valuable.
Let Them Make A Mess
Allow them to be children and have fun, even when it means they are going to make a huge mess. Let them enjoy what they have now as kids and this will help kids appreciate their lives better.
Give Kids Some Space
Being present for your kids doesn’t mean you need to hover above them 24/7. Your kids will also need some space for themselves, and allow them to have one. When your child cries after stumbling over a piece of toy block, allow him to get up by himself. You do not need to rush to his side when he cries. If your child is throwing a tantrum, let him cry until he grows tired of it. It will help him become more tolerable.
Teach Them To Appreciate
Appreciating should not be limited to the new stuff you buy them or those glittery boxes under the Christmas tree. While on the road, you can point to them the animals you see on the side of the road or the rainbow painted across the sky, and teach them to appreciate simpler things in life. Explain to them the value of the food you have on the table, and how fortunate they are to have food fill in their tummies. When you teach them to appreciate, you teach them to value life better.
What we give to our children while they are young, they take with them when they are old. The values that we teach to their minds will take seed in their hearts, and will grow into them as they mature. Do not just simply be a provider for your children. Make your presence in their lives create a good impact. Remember that as you live only once, your children also have one life to live and that life had better be a good one.
Sarah Jacobs is an experienced writer who loves creating articles that can benefit others. She has worked as a freelance writer in the past making informative articles and fascinating stories. She has extensive knowledge in a variety of fields such as technology, business, finance, marketing, personal development, and more.
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