Grown-Up Talk: 5 Ways to Be More Present with Your Kids
It’s the most common advice new parents receive: ‘Appreciate every moment when they’re little. They grow up so fast!’ But with all today’s parents are juggling, being present with your kiddos is no easy feat. You're trying to get your toddler to eat the waffle they asked for, calling your pediatrician to reschedule your infant’s check-up and emptying the dishwasher, all at the same time. It’s difficult to stop and smell the roses when you’re going for gold in the multi-tasking games. If the work part of your work-life balance has taken over, here are five tips to kick that habit to the curb and start being more present with your kids.
1. Put the devices down. It’s easy to fall into a rhythm of feeding your baby while watching Instagram Reels or wind down after dinner with tablet time Make an effort to put your devices down when you’re spending time with your kids – even if it’s once a week. You’ll appreciate the bonding time and your neck will probably thank you for it.
2. Add “me-time” to your schedule. You can’t be the best parent if you don’t give yourself a little R and R every once and a while. Taking care of your mental and physical health allows you to be the best parent you can be and live in the moments. Yoga in the morning, going for a run in the afternoon, or just five minutes of silence before your head explodes (it happens), self-care is essential.
3. Establish traditions with your kids. Having something special between you and your kid gives you a special activity to bond over together. Your oldest loves sports, so spend an hour kicking a soccer ball around the yard once a week. You have a budding chef on your hands – ask them to pick out your next dinner recipe and let them help you make it. Centering your time together around something they’re interested in shows them you’re paying attention.
4. Embrace the mess. That little voice nagging you in the back of your head to clean the kitchen when you’re cuddling with your littles? Ignore it. Leaving the laundry unfolded for an extra night won’t be the end of the world. Quiet the voice in your head and let things stay messy for a little longer while you enjoy the moment with your kids.
5. Include your littles in the little things. You never know what will become a core memory for your child – you're cooking dinner, they’re in their high chair, and suddenly it’s time for a Hamilton concert! Kids love to be included in grown-up things, so get them involved in dinner-making or clean-up – and make it fun. You’ll wish you took advantage when they start refusing to help in 10 years.
OK, now stop reading this post, and go hug your kids. ;)