If you’ve been following along this series of 31 tips for working moms to find calm the chaos, you have read about being a mindful mom and finding gratitude at work. (If you haven’t yet, go read them!) Next we’re going to talk about how to be more present with your child.
Now we’re taking mindfulness to another level and focusing on our kids. How do we find the time and energy to practice present parenting with our kids as a busy working mom? It all comes down to mindfulness and making the moments count. Being a present parent is definitely important.
How to be a more present parent with kids
What does it mean to be a present parent?
It’s not easy being a parent. You have to be there for your kids when they need you, but you also have to give them the space to grow and learn on their own. It can be a tough balancing act, but it’s one that’s worth striving for.
So what does it mean to be a present parent? It means being both physically and emotionally available for your child. It means being there to listen and offer support, but also knowing when to step back and let them figure things out for themselves.
Being a more present parent may not always be easy, but it’s the best way to help your child grow into a happy and healthy adult.
Manage your Positive Interactions with Kids
Dr. John Gottman teaches that there’s a magic ratio between negative and positive interactions that all healthy relationships have. His research shows we need to maintain a 5 to 1 ratio (5 positive interactions for each negative interaction).
This means for every negative interaction (yelling, eye rolling, etc.) we must have 5 positive interactions (hugs, smiles, etc.) to offset the negative one. This makes a lot of sense – we feel so much hurt over negative interactions, that we need more positive interactions to compensate and heal from that. So let’s focus on positive experiences and pleasantries to make our interactions memorable in a good way.
So remember to show affection and love, lots of hugs and kisses on a regular basis. Physical contact helps you bond with your children and is linked to higher self-esteem and fewer behavior problems in kids when parents show affection.
Be attentive to your child
It is important for parents to be attentive to their children. This means being present and involved in their lives. It is important to listen to your child and be there for them when they need you.
When you are attentive to your child, it shows them that you care about them and that they are important to you. This can help build a strong bond between you and your child. It is also important to be attentive to your child so that you can catch any warning signs of problems or issues.
If you are not attentive to your child, they may feel neglected and unimportant. This can lead to behavioral problems and difficulty in relationships. Therefore, it is crucial that parents be attentive to their children and show them that they are loved and valued.
Set aside special time for each child
My son is an only but if you have multiple kids you want to make sure each of them feels special. This is the whole fill everyone’s cup analogy. Even if the special time is only 15 minutes, this connection is vital for a good relationship with a child.
There are a lot of articles focusing on connection-based parenting as a parenting style and the theory is when we truly connect with our children, they are more motivated to listen and follow our rules.
Ideas for Activities to be more present with children
These are simple ideas for how to be more present with our children.
Reading books, lots of hugs, lullaby, tucking in. Maybe have a dance party while you’re getting your clothes set out for the next day. Having a predictable bedtime ritual is a great time to connect.
Brush teeth together as a family game, help the child get dressed or let them play near you while you get ready.
Eat breakfast together, talk about the day’s plans, lots of hugs and “have a nice day” before someone leaves. Try to keep mornings positive even when they feel rushed.
Talk about what you see, ask about favorites, talk about family activities or plans. Having these conversations while running errands or driving to school or daycare is a great way to connect.
Big tight hug, walk them to the classroom and tell them to have a fun day at school.
A family dinner is so important and a wonderful way for everyone to connect. Ask questions, talk about your day, say what you enjoyed, what were you grateful for today. And put down your phones during dinner.
In between tasks:
Do a quick sensory activity to provide a brain break. Those are so fun for parents and kids! If you’re wondering how to enjoy playing with your child this is a great place to start.
When we’re busy and have complicated schedules, using the time we spend together to connect and have positive interactions is key.
Make the most of what you’re already doing
The best ways to connect with kids is to involve them in what you’re doing. Cooking dinner? Let the little one pretend to mix food in an empty bowl. Or let them help if they’re old enough to help out. Cleaning? Same idea. Give the kiddo a duster and let them run around gently dusting furniture while you do your chores.
Managing time with your children
Sometimes kids want to take all of our attention and time. And it isn’t always possible. So we need to find ways to manage our interactions in positive ways, to continue to build a connection, while being in control of our time limits.
- Establish a time for your children each day, focusing on positive interactions
- Learn to distinguish between attention-seeking and actually needing help
- Be honest with your kids about time (and using a timer helps – this timer is fabulous for my preschooler)
- Set limits
- Everyone be present for dinner as a family
- Take turns with your spouse for morning tasks and bedtime routines for the kids
You might also like this being a present parent quote list. How do you manage your connections and time with your children?
This post is part of the 31 Tips for Working Moms series. See the rest of the posts here:
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