Parenting with Presence: A Little Effort Can Yield Great Rewards
Are you looking to be the best parent you can be? Today’s kids are involved in a range of organized activities, attached to a variety of electronic devices, and busy with rigorous school schedules, making it difficult to families to set aside time for family bonding and unstructured activities. But the challenges of deliberate and mindful parenting reap enormous rewards in the health and well-being of each family member.
One way to assure that you get family time together is to actually ‘schedule’ the time. Take a look at your calendar or planner and write in opportunities to spend one-on-one time with your spouse, each child individually, your parents and whoever else is important to you. Also, each month try and schedule in some family dinners and family outings.
Family vacations are also a great opportunity for siblings to bond with each other and their parents. Taking people out of their normal environment and having new experiences together can lead to wonderful lasting memories. Family trips don’t have to be extravagant; they can be day trips or longer, more involved experiences. Turn off electronics and messaging systems for a majority of the time together, allowing everyone only a short bit of electronics time each day for catching up with friends at home, if they feel they need to.
When families spend time together, kids are more inclined to reveal what is going on in their lives by sharing information about school, friends and relationships and any struggles they may face. By being an interested listener, opportunities present themselves for you to offer a bit of advice and to get a grip on what is going on in your children’s and spouse’s day-to-day lives.
As a parent, being present, involved and aware will enable you to pick up on subtle stressors in your kids’ lives that can help you identify concerns and come up with helpful suggestions. It may sound trite, but childhood goes by quickly, and being a mindful parent will help you build a strong foundation for your child’s future.
Sherry Onweller, professional organizer, is the owner of Everyday Organizing Solutions by Sherry, a professional organizing company in New Jersey, offering customized organizing solutions to residential and business clients. She assists with decluttering, downsizing, time management, personal goal setting, coaching, managing volunteer projects, helping children to get organized and helping adult adults with ADD. To learn more, visit EverydayOrganizingSolutions.com or contact Onweller at 908-619-4561.