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Raise your hand if you feel like you are failing at this parenting thing.
Yeah, me too.
In the five years I have been a parent I have worked outside the home, I have been a stay at home mom and for the past couple of years I have worked from home. During these times my daughter has either been at home with me, in daycare part-time or in school full time.
Most of us don’t fit into nicely defined boxes of stay at home parent or full-time working parent. We all have unique lives and it’s hard for all of us. No matter how you slice it, all of these scenarios have their own challenges. I think it’s fair to say that most of us feel stressed out a lot of the time and like we are never doing enough for our kids (even if we definitely are). No matter what we do there is a heaping dose of mom (or dad) guilt.
One thing that lot of other moms I know have trouble with is how to be mentally present with their kids.
It’s hard to carve out quality family time with all the stuff we have going on. Everybody is fighting for our attention all of the time. Add smartphones to the mix and it feels like we are constantly distracted and being pulled in a million directions.
No matter what’s going on it’s important to make an effort to be present for your kids and spend a little one on one time with them daily.
My daughter, Chloe loves to go with me to the store and check out the toy section. We mostly browse when we are out and about and she lets me know what she would like for special occasions like her birthday and holidays.
I decided to surprise her with a new toy on a recent trip to Walmart. I told her that I am very proud of her for being brave and taking the bus to school and getting up really early in the morning to make it to kindergarten on time and I wanted to get her a present to celebrate.
PLAYMOBIL makes imaginative play sets focused around iconic figures from a variety of worlds, both realistic and fantastical, like the dinosaur set we bought.
I tell ya, you have never seen a more excited child than Chloe was at Walmart. She literally beamed all the way home and was so excited to play with her new toys.
Do you want to spend more one on one time playing with your kids without distractions? Try these tips to be more present with your children.
How to be more present with your kids
Put away screens
This one is simple. Put away your phones (turn off your phone or plug it in to charge in another room). Turn off all the screen and distractions, no tablets, TV’s or video games. Spend an afternoon together without tech.
This one is so hard for me. I like to be super-efficient with my time. I’m always trying to do five million things at once. I will often vacuum the floors while listening to a podcast on my phone and doing squats, so that I can get my cleaning, exercising and learning done all in one 20 minute time frame. Stop trying to do everything at once and focus on one thing to be present for.
Get down on the floor and play with them
Chloe is really into imaginative play these days. She loves figurines and little plastic animals. She will literally play for hours with her horses and farm toys.
The PLAYMOBIL Hidden Temple with T-Rex was a welcome addition to the toys she already loves.
This set has a ton of attention to detail. it’ super high quality and so much fun. Kids learn by playing so toys sets like PLAYMOBIL help develop both cognitive and social/emotional skills.
Have one on one time daily
Something I have noticed I do I’ll give my daughter a toy to play with, and while she’s busy doing that I will be sitting on the couch scrolling through my phone. We all need a break sometime and mindless browsing on social media is just away to mentally escape for a few minutes. That’s all fine and dandy but it’s good to put the phone away and just get down on the carpet and play with your kids.
Ask them questions about their day and what their favorite part was. You would be surprised how much they start telling you once they get started.
Involve them in everyday tasks
An easy way to spend more quality time with your kids is to involve them in everyday tasks. Your kids will love to help your prepare dinner or even wash the car. Make it fun and make sure they know that their help with projects is valued and appreciated.
Make time for yourself
Everybody needs a break. Make sure you take time for yourself, even if you have to hire a babysitter for a couple hours. Do something nice for yourself like getting a pedicure or just some alone time shopping so that when you return home you are relaxed and can give your whole self to your kids.
How do you stay more present with your kids? Let me know in the comments and make sure you check out these awesome ideas from other bloggers.