How To Be A Present Parent: 11 Tips to Start Today
Before I dive into all the ways to learn how to be a present parent, let’s start with a question. One that you may or may not have ever asked yourself.
Are you a present parent?
Do you know what I used to think?
Of course, I am a present parent. I am with my child all the dang time.
How could I not be present?
But the simple truth is that I was wrong.
The struggle is SO real. We are here doing our mom thing all day. But are we “here?”
It is easy as pie to be pulled in so many flipping directions. And that present parent concept goes right out the window.
I’m gonna be honest. My daughter says about 5 million words a day. Am I truly listening to all these words? Not a chance. And I don’t think it is realistic to expect this of myself.
But am I being fully “there” as much as I would like to be? Heck to the no.
Here Are Some Tips on How To Be a Present Parent
1) Put the Phone Down
OK. My phone is in my hand way too much! And I know I am not the only one.
This tip is to put your phone down but let’s add something else to that. Put your phone down and away from you. Not just down right beside you. If you are anything like me, it may be challenging to resist grabbing it.
Put your phone somewhere out of sight. I like to put mine in a basket on the dining room table. Then I walk away and force myself to stay away. Taking a much-needed technology break is always a good choice.
And this goes for all of your devices!
2) Full Attention
How does it feel when someone is giving you their full attention? Good, right?
On the other hand, how does it feel when someone is giving you barely half their attention? Pretty lousy!
Our kids deserve our full attention. We all know this. It seems like a no brainer. But are we doing it? Are we giving our children our full attention at all during the day?
And let me just say that I 100% know that this is easier said than done. Most things are!
Make the choice to give your kids your full attention. Even if it is just for a short amount of time.
I struggle with this.
Kids and their stories can go on for what seems like forever. And do not even get me started on the outrageous number of questions those little humans come up with.
I like to do something a little silly but it works for me. Stop, drop and listen. This is what I tell myself.
This is a quick little way to put the idea of listening front and center. And it stops me from just saying “oh, yeah” and “uh-huh” when my daughter is talking.
Kids deserve better replies!
4) Make Yourself a Priority
We think it is important to do all the things that need to be done.
Do we put ourselves anywhere on this jam-packed to-do list?
In order to be there for our kids, we have to show up for ourselves.
Ever felt like you have lost yourself? I know I have. I have wondered if there is anything more to me than being a mother.
Here is your truth bomb of the day. You are so much more than a mother. SO MUCH MORE!
Taking care of yourself will work wonders for how well you are there for those around you.
5) Quality over Quantity
You read that right. It is all about quality over quantity!
Only have 30 minutes to give your kids your full attention. OK! It is better to fully be there for those 30 minutes than sort of be there for 2 hours.
Try not to get too caught up on the actual amount of time. Focus on being completely present in the time you do have.
Remind yourself why you want to be a more present parent.
My daughter is about to turn 6! How in the heck did this happen? I mean, I know how it happened. But the time really did go by way too quickly.
Everyone says that, right? But they say it for good reason. It is true!
I want to be a more present parent because I know I will miss these days when she is bigger.
Will I miss the tantrums? Not exactly.
But she is changing every day and I don’t want to spend our time together just going through the motions.
Listen up, friends! It is 100% OK to give other things your attention.
Why not communicate this to our children? Let’s tell them when we have something else we need to do.
I tell my daughter when I have some work to do. Then I tell her when I will be done and ready to give her my full attention.
If it is housework that I need to do, she even offers to help sometimes. Which in reality, usually makes things take longer. But mom life, you feel me?
I think adults have a tendency to underestimate kids and what they can comprehend.
I am not saying they will fully understand everything you are saying. But does that mean we shouldn’t try?
Do me a favor and ask yourself this question.
If your child was to list out their priorities, what would that list look like?
My guess is spending time with mom (or dad) would be at the top of the list. That is what is important to them. My daughter might also have something along the lines of eating brownies for dinner pretty high on her list. I mean, I can’t really blame her?
But you get my point. Your kids want to be around you. Simple as that. Try living based on the priority list of your little ones. There may be dishes in the sink but really being in the moment with your kid will more than make up for it. Don’t get me wrong. Dishes still needs to be done. But kids come first.
Let kids rule how time is spent. Not all the time of course. Kids in charge can quickly turn into a terrifying scenario!
9) Time Blocking
I wrote an entire blog post on time blocking. Check it out here!
The idea is pretty simple. Different blocks of your day are assigned different tasks. This concept has made a huge difference in me becoming a more present parent.
10) Write it Down
Sit down before bed and write out how your day went. What went great? Were there any issues? Are there things you want to work on?
I love to write everything down in my journal. Be sure to check out this article about how to start a journal!
Writing things down is a great way to hold yourself accountable.
What is most important to you? Are you acting in a way that aligns with this?
This is also a perfect way to be able to look back on exactly how you were feeling. I like to write things out before they disappear from my mind.
11) You’re Doing a Kick Butt Job
If no one has told you lately, you are doing awesome!
We are so hard on ourselves. This is good and bad. Wanting to improve in the parenting department is always a win in my book. But we tend to beat ourselves up more often than not. This can easily snowball and result in you falling down the rabbit hole of negativity. And a negative mindset is not the best way to make positive changes.
You are a kick-butt parent and I can guarantee your kids think you rock! Even on the hard days!
Parenting is tough. TOUGH!
Is it also amazing? DUH! But this does not make it any less tough.
Slow down and take it all in. You will never regret making time to actually connect with those around you.
Be present as a parent. And be present in your life. Be where you are, friend.
And always try your best to make the most of your days!
Have any tips on how to be a present parent? Drop a comment below and let’s chat!
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I loveeee this! So many great ideas to help me be a more present mama. I specifically like the point about giving the kids your full attention and listening! I want to be a good listener for my son. Thank you for this!