It’s summer, and our family has enjoyed some great summer barbecues, picnics, family gatherings, and camp trips. I hope you have, too. Whether you are working or playing this summer, do your best to be a present parent and enjoy the moment.
The past and future are alluring. It can be tempting to drift ahead to the future and start to worry about going back to school and changing routines. You may also find yourself feeling wistful about summers past and get stuck in memories replaying in your mind. Or you may be hung up on how much you should have done last week with all the daylight on your hands.
Being present is one of the most powerful things you can do as a parent. When you are present in your child’s life, you are establishing a strong bond with your child and that attachment to you meets your child’s developmental needs and increases your influence with them. It also allows you to enjoy all those sweet precious moments with your little ones. Being present also allows you to see the benefit in the challenging moments as well. It keeps you centered and helps you appreciate the gift of each breath, each loving thought, and each unique step in the great timeline of your life.
You are fully present when you are not just physically there, but also mentally, emotionally, spiritually alert and connected. People can tell when someone is there but “not really there” because they are distracted, texting, or caught up in their own thoughts. Little kids can tell when this occurs and are especially persistent and creative in how they call you back to the moment. Before they do, I wanted to share 10 ways you can be a more present parent.
10 Ways to Be A More Present Parent
1. Give lots of hugs and affectionate touch
2. Use eye contact and attending body language
3. Forgive yourself and others, no matter how great or small the issue
4. Spend time in nature
5. Learn the vocabulary of feelings and needs
6. Do yoga / deep breathing / blow bubbles with your kids
7. Write about your feelings in a journal
8. Consume material (books, audios, classes, etc.) that increase your skills in parenting and personal growth
9. Reduce your time in front of the screens (TV, Computer, phone, etc.)
10. Organize your home
If you want to reconnect with the blissful optimism, noble calling, and deep gratitude you felt as a new parent, then dive into the transformational experience of being a present parent.
You may give your full presence to your child as much as you choose. There is no gift like the present. As you move toward a life attuned to this gift, you may find more harmony in your home because your child’s social and emotional needs are met. You may find more success and synergy in your life from enhanced skills and deeper relationships. You may find yourself realizing your dreams, making grand contributions, and setting an inspiring example for your child to emulate. By intentionally shifting your parenting toward being fully present in every endeavor, you can give yourself and your child an amazing, joyful life.
To get a sense of how present you are as a parent, just fill in the box in the upper right of this page and take the Present Parent Assessment. You will get instant access to the Assessment and Special Report which includes more ways to increase your presence as a parent. Enjoy!