It’s easy to get swept up in the normal activities for parents, like keeping your children safe and working to earn money, but sometimes in the back of your mind, you may be worried that you’re not engaged enough for your child. If you’re a new parent or your children are older now, it’s quite normal to have these thoughts. Although some people may feel they know all the ins and outs of parenting, the truth is that every experience is different! There are plenty of ways to become more present as a genuine person in your child’s life and ways to be more engaged and happy with your parenting style.
1. Practice self-care
One of the most important ways to produce authentic happiness as an adult is to evaluate when you need some me-time. If you’re constantly running around, there is no way you’re going to be happy or legitimately engaged with your children. Take some time to meditate, journal, read, or just sit and relax for a few minutes to slow down your mind’s pace. This will help you reevaluate the situation you’re in and be more present when it comes time to engage with your children.
2. Create a personal learning space
A great way to be a good role model for your children is to encourage their education. Be a positive source for their questions and encourage a specific space for their homework and studying. Creating a positive home learning environment can thus foster skills, encourage learning, and allow you to participate in your children’s education. You could even ask them for help creating the space. Have fun with it! Place comfy bean bag chairs in the space and include incentives for focusing on education.
3. Actively listen
Often, we tend to have a mindless conversation with our children while doing another activity, like making dinner or driving. This isn’t an example of a fully focused conversation. Create a comfortable relationship with your children where you can just sit and talk to them. Listen more than you speak and ask them questions about their daily activities, social interactions, and emotions. It’s important to listen to all of their stories and worries without any distractions. This will allow them to open up to you more and give you insight into how your child is evolving.
4. Let your kids get to know you, too
Ditch the baby talk and talk to your child about yourself as well. While there will be time for those genuine listening conversations, your child cannot talk forever. Talk to your kids about your day, your job, your social interactions, and your feelings. This will create a genuine relationship with your child. Not only will this make you and your child’s relationship more engaging, but it will also help your child become a more social individual. They will learn the balance of talking about themselves and listening to others, which is a very positive trait to have.
5. Become creatively involved in leisurely activities Try to pick up on what your child seems to be enjoying and their interests. See what kind of books they’re reading or what they’re keen on watching. Then, plan an activity with them that goes along with these interests. For example, if you see your child reading a book about animals over and over again, take them to the zoo. If your child has one of their friends over and they’re playing baseball, take your child to a local baseball game. Stay intuitive with your child’s interests and create a pathway to a shared interest between the two of you.
This guest blog is written by: Kaytie Elizabeth Pascale