5 Ways to Be Present With Your Kids This Year


Keeping resolutions is difficult. You’ve probably heard the statistics on how few people actually keep their resolution for more than a few weeks into January. There are a couple of things that can make a difference. If you have a clear and important reason for your resolution you’re more likely to have success. Also, setting realistic and achievable goals is key.

Many people resolve to “be better parents” or “have a closer family.” Those resolutions are admirable but not specific. Here’s an idea, resolve to be present when you have time with your kids this year. Being present with someone is how we build relationships. Without time with God, our relationship with Him suffers. Undistracted time with our kids is vital to building a relationship with them. Relationship is a key to passing on our faith to our kids. As a parent there really is nothing more important.

Being present with your child means you:

  • Take an interest in your child’s interests.

    What is her favorite subject? What does he like to do after school? What video games do they like to play? Even if you don’t like to play, you can still ask about the characters or strategy. Once you ask be prepared to:

  • Listen well.

    David Augsburger says, “Being listened to is so close to being loved that most people can’t tell the difference.”

  • Care for yourself.

    Being present sounds easy but it actually takes a lot of energy. Set up your day so you have some margin for self-care. Don’t neglect your own spiritual life while taking care of everyone else.

  • Communicate intentionality with your body language.

    So much of our communication is through our body language not our spoken words. When interacting with your kids use your body language to lean in, mirror their emotions, and nod as they tell you a story.

  • Minimize or eliminate distractions.

    Are there times in your family’s day with no devices or television? Does the physical space in your home enable you to have interactions with each other without distraction? A co-worker recently reorganized his home so a large table for conversation and unstructured activities is at the heart of the home. Previously, he had a sectional and large television in that space. He is already seeing a difference in the quality of interactions between him and his daughter.

The beginning of a new year is a time when many of us commit to new habits, goals or resolutions. What if you considered, “Be Present” for 2016 and increase the quality of interactions with your kids?

 

Lisa Bohn

Lisa Bohn

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