Family

Savoring the Moments: Practical Tips for Being a ‘Present’ Parent

You’ve heard the phrase “enjoy every moment — they grow up so fast!” and you’ve more than likely had those jolts of realization that your baby is fast turning into an amazing individual person right before your eyes. Amid the daily mayhem of parenting (an experience that is probably nothing like what you expected), it can feel like a constant battle between moving forward with your life together, while trying to ensure that you are savoring those precious moments.

If you’re looking for a few ways you can better show up for your child (or grandchild), try the tips below.

Really Listen 

Kids can tell when your mind is elsewhere and you’re not actually focused on what they are saying. They often need to talk to you more than you feel you have time for, and will use a range of tactics to keep conversations going or get your attention (positive or negative).

The “why, why, why?” stage is just one example. While the constant “why?” questions are primarily to satisfy curiosity and learn about their world, they’re also a way to keep your focus.

Answer whenever you can with simple explanations that are informative enough to satisfy (otherwise they’ll just ask for more detail). A good strategy is to ask them “Why do you think that is?”

If your child is older, the same rule applies. When you’re asking questions, be sure you’re listening intently and engaging the conversation, rather than diverting your attention with other things like being on your phone or fussing about your to-do list. 

Be Available

Research has found that a sensitive care-giving style (particularly in their first three years) improves a child’s social competence and academic achievement.

Start conversations when your child is in a place or mood that typically finds them chatting. For older kids, draw them on their favorite topics and interests so they know you’re up on what they care about.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.

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