Parenthood is not an easy job. Our children need endless attention and sometimes it feels like no matter how much we give them it’s never enough.

The bigger issue is how we interact with our children.

When you are with your children, be present.

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Are you constantly on our phone, checking emails or Facebook?

Many times I found myself sitting on the sofa with my phone checking things while playing Lego with my toddler. Same many times I found that he was misbehaving because I wasn’t giving him my full attention, and he would start some form of mischief. Many time I would think to myself I am giving him “my full attention” why is never enough for him?

I wasn’t engaging with him.

I wasn’t communicating with him.

I was half-listening to what he was saying and replying some random things to him without even making sense (partly because I wouldn’t understand all those made up words that he was using haha )

Passive listening is hearing but giving little attention to what is said. Just hearing what your child is saying is not the same as listening to what he has to say and engaging with him.

Involved parents pay attention to what their children have to say and are paying attention to their feelings. 

Passive listening parents are more…half listening; they are preoccupied with other things. They feel like they need to do many things in the limited time that they have and try to “prioritize” what is more convenient.

Yes… guess what type of parent I was?

Make it clear for them

It is not realistic to dedicate our 100% time to our children even is we are the most devoted parent ever.

Our children need time to interact with us the same amount as they need time for individual play.

When we need to check email, talk on the phone or whatever occurs during the day it is best to make it clear to our child that they need to have some individual playtime.

You can communicate to them that you are going to do some work now, assign them a task (e.g. make the tallest tower ever with Lego). The task needs to have a start and an end (by the time you finish mommy will be back).

A note on self-esteem

When children feel good about themselves, it sets them up for success in every aspect of their life. 

Self-esteem is related to the way children think of and value themselves. Self-confidence can help kids to try new challenges, cope with mistakes, and start again. Taking pride in their accomplishments helps kids do their best. 

Children with low self-esteem feel insecure and unsure of themselves.

They may allow others to treat them poorly and are likely to have a hard time standing up for themselves. These kids can easily give up challenges and are not willing to try again as they believe they will fail again.

Teach your kids how to have a conversation 

Practice with them. Ask open-ended questions, and you will be amazed by their answers.

Be patient when listening.

Give your child time to think and to finish what he wants to say without anticipating what he will say. Respect what they have to say and give them space to express.

Set a time to listen and maintain eye contact

A good listening time could be around dinner time or just prior to bedtime after the story. You ask things about his days and what was his favorite part of the day.
A conversation is more than just hearing words a replying something for the sake of replying.
It involves interpreting body language, reading between the lines and reading your child’s feelings. Young children often can’t express exactly how they feel and older children tend to be more reserved and withhold important facts.
It is our duty to give them the feeling that they can trust us and be open that no matter what we will be there for them and won’t judge.

Spend quality time with your children

A good way to engage with your child is to have daily traditions.

  • Bath and story in the evening. It gives you the time to connect and an opportunity to spend time alone with each child before bed.
  • Do the wind-down routine with each child separately.
  • Bake a cake, build towers or tidy up the house together (my toddler loves to help me empty the dishwasher and put clothes in the washing machine).

One more thing

Ready to get insanely productive each day and spend more quality time with your children?

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