In parenting, you may think that kids are needy and can sometimes be a pain in the ass. Well, kids may think, “right back at ya”. Being a better parent is not about admitting you are a bad one, it is simply acknowledging that the thunder, lightning, and challenges early adulthood can drop on an unprepared young person (which you will most likely have to deal with) makes investing some effort now worth it. Since parenting is so damn unpredictable and complicated, we will provide you clear skills that are vital to your child’s upbringing. Always keep in mind, these skills are simple to understand but require work to master.
STEPPING UP YOUR PARENTING GAME: YOU THERE?
Physically, sure. Mentally, meh.
A small pilot study in the Journal of Pediatrics followed 55 caregivers and found out that of those parents, 40 of them used a mobile device while eating with their kids. On top of this, 3 gave their phone to their kid to keep them occupied.
Of course, this one example is a microcosm of a bigger issue. The issue is not being present with your kid. Both kids and parents have more going on and at a faster pace than ever before, which puts an even bigger emphasis on improving this area of your parenting game.
Here are sometimes where parents are not as present with their child.
- Meal times
- In the morning getting ready
- When you feel rushed for time
- Anytime you are multitasking
- After busy work days
- When the environment is messy
- When your kid asks you a question
Being distracted, listening with the intent to respond, or being controlled by some emotion (irritation, anger, sadness…etc) can reek havoc on your ability to truly be there for your kid. Why does this really matter?
Kid don’t just need attention, they need genuine attention. They have an uncanny ability to grow up fearing that they are not good enough, are not able to be loved, and/or that they will constantly be facing rejection. As with many things, the reasons behind this does not neatly fall into one box, but things such as not being present when around your child can contribute to changes in their self-worth. This isn’t just about them because when you are fully there for them, listening, open, and non-judgmental then the parent will reap the benefits as well.
Try some of these strategies:
1. Start by taking a closer look at the bulleted items above and get an idea of how present or distracted you truly are.
2. Try having dinner with no electronics on and see what you notice.
3. Look your kids in the eyes when you are having a conversation with them without the intent to respond.
4. Try remaining more “open” so they can feel accepted and are more likely to talk to you about how they are doing.
5. Play a game with them, without your phones around or the tv on.
6. Work with them on finding a time to “just spend some time together”. Picking an activity is okay, just keep it simple and personal (and off the phones).
Now is the time to start investing your efforts into being more present with your child and share your stories on YouTime Coaching’s social media pages below!