Trying to keep up with life’s demands and trying your best to hold it together can be difficult for busy parents. While doing everything at once, you may not think about the importance of making all of your children feel seen. You love and provide for them, but do you need to make them feel noticed?
The short answer is yes. Before you start feeling overwhelmed, understand that it’s not as hard as it sounds. There are easy, everyday ways to make your children feel special. These conscious practices can quickly become part of your family dynamic. Here are some tips if you’re looking for ways to be more purposeful with your kids and help them feel seen.
Have daily one-on-one time.
You may feel like there’s not enough energy or time in your day to spend one-on-one time with all of your kids. From hustling early in the morning to nighttime routines, many parents have difficulty getting dinner on the table, so spending quality time with each child may feel impossible. However, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to single out each child for some one-on-one quality time. You can spend time with all of your children daily. All it takes is some creativity.
Some ideas include letting them help with dinner, walking around the block, and letting them run errands with you. Even taking some time before bed can make a difference in helping your kids feel loved and seen. The amount of time you spend in the one-on-one doesn’t matter, but make it a priority and see the difference it makes.
Offer to help them, but not fix them.
When your kids struggle, naturally, you want to fix it for them as their parents. Some parents would choose to ignore their children. Neither is the best option when you’re trying to help your child feel understood and seen. Instead of trying to fix everything for them, offer to help them find a solution. For example, tell them you can be their study buddy if they have problems in school. If they’re sad, be there for them by suggesting some time outside, a snack, and dancing in the living room.
The majority of the time, your children don’t want you to fix things; they want you to point them in the right direction and listen. Doing so lets them know they can trust you for help without being a helicopter parent. It’s an excellent way to understand their issues without feeling like you have to fix everything.
Empathize with them.
Most people don’t understand, but empathy differs from sympathy. Empathy says, “I don’t fully get what you’re going through, but I understand how you must feel.” It goes a long way when helping your kids build a deeper connection with you and feel seen. It lets them know they can talk to you about whatever they’re going through. If your child is anxious, you can say, “I can tell you’re shy around other people. How can I make you feel more confident?”
If you have a moody child, tell them, “I feel like you’re letting your mood get the best of you. Can you tell me what’s bothering you instead of pouting?” If your child gives up too quickly, let them know that if they keep trying, they’ll eventually succeed.
Don’t let the differences between you and your child stop you from being empathetic. Use their weaknesses as a chance to tell them that you’re there for them, even when you don’t understand their problems.
Let them know that God loves them.
The most significant thing a parent can do is let their child know that God loves, sees, and hears them. You assure them that God is real when you regularly remind them of this. In Genesis 16:13, Hagar says, “You’re the God who sees me. I have seen the One who sees me.” If you know this Old Testament story, you know Hagar was Sarah’s maid who was given to Abraham to create an heir. However, the situation worsens when Sarah mistreats Hagar, and she escapes into the desert.
In her lowest moment, God reached out to Hagar and comforted her. Then, she gave Him the name, “The God who sees.” Perhaps you should share this story with your children as a reminder that God loves, sees, and hears them. Show them how God blessed them and wants a relationship with them. Inspire your child to start praying daily, talk to God, and create a relationship with Him. You must let your children know that God sees them and knows their struggles.
A prayer for you and your children.
Dear Lord, thank You for all of our children and the individuality You gave them. Lord, help us be more determined to make them feel seen. In the day-to-day routines, remind us that our connection with our children is more important than anything. Please help us step back and reexamine how we spend our time. Please give us the innovation to make our time with our children fun and memorable. Remind us to slow down and smell the roses if we try to rush into something. Let our ears and hearts be open to listening and understanding, and let our eyes be open to seeing. We ask these things in Your Son Jesus’ name, amen.
We all have busy lives with hundreds of things fighting for our attention daily. However, making your children a priority is more important than anything on your to-do list. Your child/parent relationship can have a purpose. You have to be intentional and creative with your part as a parent. Once you put things into practice, they’ll become part of your routine, and your children will feel seen.
Your children are a gift from God that you should always cherish. If they’re telling or showing you that they don’t feel seen, it will help you listen to them and not brush them off. They’ll thank you for paying attention in the end.