Beliefnet
Parenting on Purpose

 

Father and daughter day at the beach collecting shells togetherMost of us go through life doing our best to manage all of the noise and distractions that are present in our jobs, at home and out in the world. It can truly be an activity in not losing our minds. Our world is buzzing with business, people and tasks that require our attention.  Is it any wonder that we can have trouble being fully present with our children when we have a million things on our minds that require energy from us?

I believe that we want to be fully present to those around us and most especially with our kids, but to be fully present we can use the tools of intention, focus and attention. Perhaps we aren’t able to change the circumstance of our lives in being less busy, but we are in control of the moment-to-moment experiences we have with our children.

Intention is a good place to start, as intention is what drives the energy toward our goals.  Are we intending to be more present? I found that when I intended to be more present with with my kids, I was halfway there. Then, I had to focus specific attention toward them, and stay focused on the conversation or exchange at hand.

Lastly, I needed to pay close attention to what my kids were saying. This is important, as we will want to respond accordingly.

What does it mean for us to be fully present with our children? It can mean:

1)   Pausing whatever activity or chore we are involved in, sitting down and facing our kids.

2)   Engaging in eye contact whether we’re sitting with them or from across the room.

3)   Listening to our kids talk and not speaking until we’re sure they have finished.

4)   Postponing other conversations such as cell phones or television when our children are interacting with us.

5)   Choosing to let situations with our kids unfold rather than trying to direct them.

6)   Grounding ourselves and being fully present in our own bodies, so we stand a greater chance of being fully present.

In a world full of noise and distractions, our kids want to feel valued and heard. As we stay present to what they are saying and experiencing, we develop meaningful exchanges and deeper relationships with them. We know from our own experiences how it feels when others are present with us.

Please feel free to comment!

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

 

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