I recently wrote an article on my experience and thoughts about Being Present with my son Zander. If this concept of being present with your children sounds nice but feels like a million miles away sometimes, try these tips to get connected:
1. If your days are busy and it’s really a challenge to JUST BE, choose specific moments to be super present, and be consistent with it. It’s up to you so be a stickler. Some great times are:
- changing diapers / getting your little ones dressed
- times when you are feeding or eating with your children
- bath time
- going to bed ritual
- before nap time
- waking up, even if it’s just weekends
It depends on how old and how many children you have so figure out what works best for you.
2. It goes without saying (or maybe not?) that our smartphones can take a backseat. This includes iPads, laptops, ETC. I know it’s easier said than done but I will say, it’s one of the most important things as a ‘Modern Family’ we can do. Choose times to catch up on texts, email, social media, etc. Do it when you’re in the bathroom, at work, when baby’s sleeping – the point is to try to do it less on your children’s time and more on your own time. Visit Hands Free Mama for some more great conversation on this.
3. If you have more than one child, make special plans for one on one time. This is special not just for them, it’s a big gift to both of you. If you can plan these ‘dates’ on a fairly regular schedule, even once a month, you’ll be amazed after a year of the beautiful memories created from doing this. Take pictures!
4. Turn off the TV. I know, back to picking on electronics. More than turning it off though, get on the floor with your baby. Get in their zone. At any age, newborns and older, our babies love looking at us and feeling our love and the gift of this kind of full attention.
5. Listen more. Just listen. Don’t try to fix or change or distract from any of it. Just listen.
I hope these ideas help you in your life as a parent to tune in and get connected. Please share your experiences with trying these or any of your own ways below or on our Facebook Page.