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5 Steps to Stop Struggling With Quality Time | The Family Alchemists

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A tired parent struggles to keep their eyes open while they read one last story to their child.

The busy, work at home, mom feels guilty for having to say “no” to their child, because there’s no time to go to the park and then there’s the feeling of failure that strikes most parents as they climb into bed, realizing they didn’t play with their kids again that day.

We hear time and time again that children who experience connection with their parents have higher self esteem and confidence, are healthier emotionally, mentally and physically and they perform better in school.
Yet parents struggle to find the time to fit it in and then suffer with the guilt of missing out.

What if quality time was more about connection and less about time at all?

A half distracted game of cards or an un-interested “uh-huh” when listening to a child recounting their day isn’t connection.In fact, dis-interest suggests the effort given is a parental duty and not one that’s actually fun or engaging. It can’t possibly lead to high self esteem in any child or anyone for that matter.
(In fact, if a friend or fellow “grown-up” treated us in such a distracted way, we’d consider it rude.)

Scatteredness and multi-tasking can create a focus of being “too busy” and within that focus, connection gets lost.

So, what’s the solution?

 

There are numerous ways you can increase your connection with your child throughout the day, simply through shifting perspective of day to day living and looking for fun in the moment.
For instance…

1) Involve your child in every day tasks and work on things together.
From a young child helping to load laundry into the washer, to a teenager making the dinner’s salad, doing daily tasks together (along with some fun music to keep the mood light) creates a foundation of love and support from everyone. Car rides are times when you can talk about the world around you, or simply act silly listening to the radio. 

When daily tasks or simple moments are shared with our children, you’ll notice that it becomes easier to be lighter and practice them with a sense of fun, while when we work alone or are focused on the traffic ahead, we easily get lost in our train of thoughts, our worries or our daily spins of stress.

2) Ask Questions… and then listen with attention
Children have opinions, perspectives, and focuses of their own. When we start asking our children about their thoughts and ideas we not only learn more about them as people, but we encourage them to share and express themselves openly. When parents follow through with listening and engaging with their child’s answers, without any criticism or judgment, foundations for a connected relationship becomes established.

3) Log off to connect
Devices and social media are like a barrier between parents and children. The all to common image of a child at a park while the parent is on their phone “scrolling” is where the real guilt is being created. Why? Because it’s not real busyness. Social media scrolling is the epitome of true “busy time” as is giving focus to other people, strangers, and stories, without any true intention or focus. Children sense when a parent is truly “busy” and can’t be disturbed, but the fogginess of scrolling or random conversations over enjoying time together, is what really lies underneath the feeling of missing out on a parenting experience.

4) Appreciation and Gratitude
A simple step to finding connection with your children is to create a daily list of what you appreciate about them. From their laugh to their sparkling eyes, to their wonder, their helpfulness or that time they made their bed, you can always find something to appreciate. This creates space for a deeper connection, as a child will feel accepted and loved for who they are each day and a parent will feel more aware of their child’s strengths and successes.

The phrase “you can’t give water from an empty well”, has become common phrase encouraging self care, but often self care for parents is action based. From trips to Target to Spa Retreats, self connection has become the question of “What should I do when alone?” rather than “how shall I be when alone?”
When a parent takes a moment each day to focus on their breath and connect to their day, their thoughts and themselves, they become present in their own lives. Within this presences the scattered focus which bars them from connection to their children melts away.

With practicing a bit of mindful connection within, a parent soon finds that connection with their children naturally occurs, simply through daily conversation, loving engagement and presence of being together.

Read more: 940 Saturdays

FREE: How To Finally Get Your Child To Listen And Act By Understanding Their Development And Getting The Best Behavior Out Of Them… Even In The Hour Before Bedtime. Yes, Really.

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