Distracted Parents, Are You There—But Not Really There?

Parenting tips to help you stay present and cut distractions

We all do it. To varying degrees, we’ve all been distracted away from our children at some point.

I trust if you are reading this, you’re already an amazing parent.

But even amazing parents can have “off” moments.

There are many situations where you might feel like you are there for your children, but when you look more closely, you’ll see that maybe you aren’t fully there.

Here are 3 situations where you find yourself distracted & tips to help you practice more mindful parenting:

1. Hearing what your children say, but not listening to understand.

We often hear what our children are saying, but we don’t truly listen to understand how they feel about something.

One sign that you do this is if you find yourself giving advice or feedback before listening with empathy. Practicing a few simple steps when speaking with your children can help you become a more mindful parent.

Try these tips instead: when you listen to understand, don’t interrupt your child. Instead, respond with phrases such as:

  • “So do you mean…”
  • “If I understand you, you are saying…”
  • “Tell me more about how you feel about…”

Doing this helps you build a deep bond of trust between you and your child. They feel that you want to understand them.

As a result, because trust and rapport are strong, your children will be open to your feedback and then listen to you!

2. You’re at your child’s event, but you’re not paying attention.

This is an easy trap to fall into.

I know I did this at many of my children’s activities. Smartphones are a big distraction in our culture, and even your friend sitting next to you can be a distraction from really being present at your child’s activity.

It’s a good practice to turn off your phone and also monitor any lengthy side conversations, so you can be truly present with your child and stay focused on what is important to your child.

For those of us with adult children, when we visit their homes or go on outings with them and our grandchildren, putting our smartphones away is also supportive to allow us to give our energy to our loved ones.

3. You’re there for your children as a group, but you’re not supporting them individually.

It’s easy to get into a parenting rut of managing your family as a group of children, and not giving enough attention to the individual needs of each child.

Both types of attention are necessary.

The first one is more focused on managing a family and the second is focused on raising a healthy child.

The Child Whisperer gives you the advantage to be there for each child to support their spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical development.

It’s the small and simple practices of being truly present that are the unspoken actions of love that your children see.

This is the foundation for a strong relationship that carries into their adult lives. They trust you!

Why wouldn’t they? You’ve shown them how important they are in a way that goes beyond words.

I always say, “It’s never too late to be a good parent!”

No matter the age of your children, I know you can identify one of these areas where you can begin to make a change to create a better relationship and become a more mindful parent.

What is one way you can be more present and less distracted for your child today even if you weren’t yesterday?

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