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5 Tips on How to be Present with your Kids

Well first of all – being present – what does that mean exactly? Well to me, being present means being fully engaged in and focussed in the moment, on the task or activity and especially on the person to the exclusion of all else.

So how do we do that? It’s not just about time is it? I spend lots of time with my children and for lots of that time I am not fully present for them. I am with them right now actually and thats ok!

Spending regular times when I am fully present for my children is my goal. It is however something that I need to remind myself of often and I don’t always succeed. The following ideas and tips come from my experience as a coach and as a parent. They help me and I hope they help you too. And remember, don’t give yourself a hard time when you get to the end of a day and you realise you haven’t spent time being present with your kids – learn from it and have another go tomorrow. Be grateful for the times you had anyway:)

  1. Knowing that there is no such thing as multitasking – only attention splitting.
  2. Recognising that me being with my kids often doesn’t feel to them, like I have spent time with them.
  3. Knowing that being present requires mindfulness – an intention to be present must exist, a decision needs to be made.
  4. Making this decision can be made both through scheduling time and also through developing an awareness of and taking opportunities for engaging. I learnt from a good friend recently that what may seem not very important to me may be extremely important to my children – especially as they get into the teenage years. She advised me that when asked for help to do my best to help straight away – even if it’s 10.30 at night and that costume has to be altered by 8am and homework help is needed NOW. A decision to be present needs to be made 🙂. Great advice I think. And if that isn’t possible, make sure to schedule some time asap.
  5. Now you have your intention, your decision, your times and your mindset, how to make sure you engage in a fully present way. In my experience the best way to do this is to be really really curious. When you are truly curious about their world you can’t help but be present. Find out what things mean to them – remember we don’t see the world as it is – only as we are. Find out how they see their world. Ask great questions…What does … mean?…What does that mean to you?…Tell me more about that…? What do you really like about that?

To adapt a quote I saw o a poster somewhere – when someone gives you all of their time and attention and focuses only on you, it is a gift.

I would love to hear your experiences.

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