When you’re busy with emails and your child walks into the study, do you look up to answer her questions?
One thing is for sure… parents don’t need more guilt! However, if you’re concerned about how your screen time is affecting your kids, don’t despair. Although time is in short supply in our multitasking, digital lives, it’s all about being 100% present in the time that you do spend with your kids. Quality time… it’s a little bit like gold dust. Kids thrive on it and you only need a little to make a huge impact.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a meter that could tell you how full your child’s “love tank” is? But alas, we have to rely on our parental intuition to determine the needs of our kids. And frankly… more often than not, we fall short.
Let’s face it, life is busy! In today’s digital world every minute is an opportunity to do something, right? As parents we often feel guilty about not spending enough time with our kids and when we do, we “simply have to answer that call” or “check that all important email.” Here’s the thing, constantly being on our phones and digital devices can lead to parental inattentiveness. And yes, science supports the idea that kids who have attentive parents have higher self-esteem, improved academic performance, better parent-child communication, and fewer psychological and behavioural problems.
So mom and dad, your love and full attention will direct their path and anchor their sense of value.
We have a few ideas on how to be more present in your child’s life:
- Make a date with your child and stick to it. Create a ritual, something that can be done every day. He/she needs to know that they can e.g. rely on story time every day.
- Try to have at least one meal per day together, and if it’s not possible, grab an apple and sit for a few minutes to chat. Unplug and use these tiny snippets of time to talk to them about their day – it’s all about making the most of the time you’ve got.
- Show them that you care even if you’re not there – write a note and leave it on the fridge or slip a smiley face into their lunch boxes to make them feel loved.
- Tell them that you love them, every day.
- Notice the good stuff.
- Schedule time over weekends for doing something of your child’s choosing.
- Don’t always turn playtime into something educational, this is your time to goof off and be completely silly.
Giving your child your undivided attention, even briefly, is the least – and sometimes the most – any parent can do. Remember, each connection has a lasting impact and just a small chunk of your time and full attention will bring so much joy.
“Enjoy the little things with your kids for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things.” – Robert Brault
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.