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How to Be a Less Distracted, More Present Parent

How to Be a Less Distracted, More Present Parent

Do you often find yourself highly absorbed in your laptop or too busy to put down your phone to even have a meaningful conversation with your child? We get it. Motherhood is synonymous with busy days and hectic schedules. With a laundry list of tasks that you need to accomplish, it can be easy to get caught in the parent trap and hamster wheel of busyness.

Unfortunately, this distracts us from the most important thing: our kids. Distracted parenting raises kids who feel like they’re competing with their parents’ work or electronic devices. Do not let these things or habits stand in the way of you creating a real connection with your child. You don’t want to wake up one day realizing your baby is all grown up and you’ve missed most parts of it.

How to Escape the Parent Trap

So how do you become more present (not just physically) in your child’s life so you don’t regret the lost years? Every day, make that decision to live in the moment with your little one… and heed these suggestions!

  1. Disconnect to reconnect.

You worry too much about your kid’s screen time, but you didn’t notice yours was already disconnecting you from your child. Unplug, have a scheduled offline family time, and stick to it. It can be during dinner time so the family gets to discuss how their day was or on weekends so you get to bond over activities that don’t need a WiFi connection.

  1. Don’t overbook yourself; learn when to say no.

Spreading yourself too thin may cost you your health and wellbeing. If you are exhausted and burnt out from work, you will also be too tired to parent. It’s okay to say no to certain commitments if it means less time to join your kid at the dining table or read him bedtime stories.

  1. Make time for play—with your child and for yourself.

When was the last time you played? As a mom, you understand that play is important to a child’s brain development. But play should not stop when someone grows up. Adults like you also need to allot time to play—whether it is joining your child in her make-believe world or enjoying anything that reduces your stress levels.

  1. Create family traditions and rituals.

You find yourself smiling at the thought of your family traditions while growing up.

Recreate that same experience with your little one so that he or she has something to look forward to—whether it’s a daily routine or a once-a-week bonding. Activities that you do together as a family help form stronger bonds.

  1. Respond instead of react.

Experts suggest practicing mindful parenting, where you are fully aware of what’s happening in the present moment. But with a seemingly never-ending list of to-do’s, moms are already worrying about the next thing. When you are overwhelmed and tired, it’s easy to lose your temper and react to your children without thinking. Get yourself under control before you respond, and pause so you can find that calm space.

Remember the PBR technique: pause, breathe, respond. This is also one way of teaching your young one how to manage his or her own emotions and behaviors.

Learn more about Parenting here.

This story originally appeared on Edamama and is re-used with permission:

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Edamama Updated Dec 22, 2021
Fact Checked by Kristel Lagorza