We often get caught up in our own schedule and the things we need to get done. As an adult, there’s a never-ending barrage of things on our to-do list, and it constantly nags at us. Our kids see that, and they interpret it as us choosing other things over them. So, what can you do to relax and be present with your kids?
Our kids crave our attention, and they need it to grow up happy and healthy. It feeds their emotional well-being, their self-confidence, and helps them learn to be more well-rounded.
If you struggle to really be present with your kids, here are some relaxing ways to focus your attention on them and make them feel like 100% of your mind and emotions are on them.
Be Present with Building Blocks
I’m not sure about you, but I love playing with blocks of all kinds. There’s something cathartic about building with them, even if it’s only to knock them down in the end.
If your child is young, large plastic blocks or Duplo LEGO blocks are awesome choices. They’re too big to choke on and they’re easy for little hands to hold onto.
If your child is older, you can look into something more architectural, like LEGO Technic sets, Tinker Toys, or Lincoln Logs. They’re classic, timeless, and so much fun. Come up with a plan or just wing it.
The great thing about blocks is that you can play with blocks in your pajamas in the living room, or you can take them to the park with a picnic lunch and enjoy the sunshine. Either way, it’s a relaxing activity that allows you to be present with your kids, enjoy time together, and do something productive.
Enjoy Making Messes with Your Kids
Being in the moment often means being more forgiving of messes. Getting involved includes making some of the mess yourself. It’s way more fun that way, and the best bonding often happens over mud and glitter.
Head out to the backyard and make mud pies or spread out on the kitchen table and do a craft. Whatever you decide to do or however you plan to make a mess, be a part of it with your kids.
They’ll be surprised that their parents even know how to let loose and enjoy the moment, and making a mess with permission will allow them to relax without worrying about getting in trouble.
Be Present with Some Fishing Fun
A lot of people will agree that there’s nothing more relaxing than fishing. There’s nothing more healing than heading out on the open water with the breeze blowing through your hair. It’s even better with the birds chirping in the background and the sound of the waves lapping on the shore.
There are plenty of kid’s fishing poles out there with designs your child will love. They’re lightweight and easy to use, so they’ll love fishing too. Being present while fishing is one of the easiest things to do, because there’s literally nothing else to do.
Enjoy Your Kids' Helping Hands
You’re lucky if your child still idolizes you. Whether you’re currently present in the moment or not, when they come to you for help, stop what you’re doing and help. They believe you can do anything right now, and who knows how much longer they’ll think that?
They think the world of you, but their world will crumble quickly the more you brush them off. When they come tugging at your leg or tapping on your shoulder, set your work aside for a moment and take a brief moment to assist them.
It’s not easy to do and it will take some focus, dedication, and retraining on your part to commit to being in those moments, but you won’t regret doing it. It will mean a lot to your child and you will see a difference in their eyes when you help instead of send them away.
Be Present While Writing Words with Kids
For children who are old enough to read and write, becoming pen pals is a fun way to spend time with each other when it’s convenient for both of you. Between homework, extracurricular activities, showers, and bedtime, there’s barely time for anything else.
But if you’re simply passing notes back and forth, you can read those in your downtime, no matter when that is. You don’t have to coordinate with each other, you can just write a quick hello when you have time and then read the response in bed later.
Reading your notes will make your child feel special, because everyone loves letters, and having a dedicated pen pal will give your child something to look forward to every day.
Author Bio: Cristin Howard runs Smart Parent Advice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Cristin writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase.