Being present for loved ones can be tricky if you are busy. Maybe your job takes up a lot of your time, as does keeping your house looking clean and tidy. It’s important to have at least a few moments to yourself to relax as well. So when it comes to being entirely present with your children, it can be difficult. Busy lives with no time to step away from the hustle and bustle can mean that spending good quality time with the children becomes a lower priority because everything else just has to be done first.
It shouldn’t be that way, but don’t worry if it is and you don’t think you can change it. There are a number of different ways that you can be totally present for your kids – it is never too late to turn things around and make your relationship with them a great one. Make memories that will last a lifetime, and you’ll never regret a single moment.
Turn Your Technology Off
Technology is a big presence in many people’s lives and although you may feel as though you can’t manage without your phone or your tablet, that you can’t leave Facebook or Twitter alone for an hour or so, you most certainly can. In fact, you should.
When you are with your children, turn everything off and leave it in another room. This will enable you to really focus on your children and the game or activity that you are playing or doing with them. They don’t want to fight for attention with your smartphone, and every time you leave it somewhere else and don’t pay attention to it, they will appreciate it. As a bonus, this will teach your children that technology doesn’t have to be an integral part of life, and fun can be had without it.
When you are planning to spend time with your children make sure that you really do plan it. Don’t just do it as an afterthought or while you’re also doing something else (unless they’re helping out and it’s a bonding activity like cooking could be). Give that time that you have deliberately put aside to your child or children completely. It will make such a difference to your enjoyment level (and theirs) and will make the time feel utterly worthwhile. It also means you can stop stressing about work or what the house looks like or how much grocery shopping needs to be done, at least for a little while.
When your child wants to talk to you, it is crucial that you listen to them. Children love telling stories and talking about their day. They like to discuss what they have learned and what they have seen. By showing you are listening and taking on board their points, even if you yourself are swamped with various tasks and jobs to do, they will know you care. This can be for a short a time as ten minutes, on the way home from school. It will make all the difference. This also means that they know they can trust you and will come to you with any problems they may have. Keeping it to themselves could be bad for their mental, emotional, or physical health.
Listening is important but so is asking questions. When you ask questions, it shows that you are interested and that you have truly been taking in what was said. Plus, being asked questions will make your child feel important and knowledgeable. Teaching a parent something new is something to be proud of – it will make them want to tell you even more things, so keep listening and keep asking questions of them.
Looking After Yourself
Many people enjoy a relaxing glass of wine or a bottle of beer every now and then. It’s perfectly fine and perfectly legal as long as you are over the age of 21. It is important to ensure that alcohol does not take up too much of your time, your money, and your health. Drinking too much can have a detrimental effect on your relationship with your family and loved ones, especially if you have children. Ensuring they are not exposed to this is important. If you particularly feel as if you may be going through alcohol withdrawal there is plenty of information available to assist in your mission to quit. The experts are the ones who can help you so don’t hesitate to get that help.
Go On Family Outings
Sometimes the best way to be present with your children is to get out of the house altogether and go on a fun family outing. Simply being in a new place doing something different can be enough to allow you to remove any worries about how to be truly present.
A family outing doesn’t have to be an expensive day out. Something as simple as a picnic in the park or a day at the beach can be ideal as you will make some wonderful memories and really get the chance to show your children how much fun you can be. Make sure that any technology is turned off or stowed away during this day out.
Involve Them In Chores
Being present for your children is partly about being there when they need you. However, it can also be about them being there for you. If chores need to be done around the house then why not involve the children? You’ll be teaching them important life lessons, and you’ll also get the work done a lot quicker, freeing you up to have more time to play with them or read or snuggle up and watch a movie together.
If they can start with smaller tasks such as making their bed or folding the laundry and you can be with them laughing and joking and helping them out, they will see this time as just as good as any other time you spend together. It is the time spent together that counts, not just what you are doing.