Posts Tagged ‘interaction’


(Parenting) Completely Present

It is so easy to get lost in our to-do lists, whether they are written or mental. And it isn’t even always that we are accomplishing so much, but more about how our minds and spirits become completely wrapped up in what we need to do or what we are failing to do. When this happens, we slip into a highly task-oriented mindset and often neglect relational interactions, especially with our children.

Now, tasks need to be accomplished. That is just a fact of life. Phone calls need to be made, the house needs to be cleaned, bills have to be paid. Our days are full. However, when we are interacting with our children, we need to turn our full attention onto them whenever possible. When they ask you a question, make an intentional effort to turn and look them in the eye. Or in the moment when you sit down to read or play with them, be completely present in that moment. Enjoy the interaction, answer their questions, squeeze them a little bit tighter, tickle their toes, or simply absorb the moment. This doesn’t take any more time from your day. It is simply a state of mind.

Frustrations occur when there is a conflict in goals, whether it is between people or within yourself. In the moments when you are able to be completely present, you will find so many of your frustrations with your kids melt away. In that moment, you have one focus, one goal: to be interact with and love your child. You can focus on being completely present and intentional about your to-do list in then next moment.

In whatever you do today, be completely present. Absorb the moment and apply yourself. Life is so much more than a to-do list.


(Parenting) Grumpiness

You woke up on the wrong side of the bed and are having a bad day. You were up too late the night before, greeted by too many demands first thing in the morning, and are just plain grumpy. Is it any wonder you have narrow margins with the kids, don’t feel like being social, or snap at your husband? If somebody demands a lot of you or jumps on your case for your bad attitude, does that magically motivate you to change your tune? Usually it just pushes you further into your grumpiness.

On days like this, sometimes you need a restart button. Or at least 15 minutes of quiet time by yourself to reset your attitude. Sometimes a hug, a few understanding words, or a listening ear is all that is needed to turn your day around.

Our kids have these days too. Sometimes there is an obvious reason for it and other times there isn’t. Yet instead of showing them compassion on these rough days and teaching them how they can effectively change their attitudes, we often become extra stern in our demand for obedience. The next time you see that they are having a rough day, don’t combat it with a harsh word. Gently pull them aside, give them a hug and say something like, “I see that you are having a rough day today. Do you want to spend a few minutes cuddling on the couch with me or spend some time by yourself until you are ready to try again?” Reflect their feelings back to them and show them that you are on their side. This gives them a chance to open up with you and, even more importantly, figure out for themselves what is bother them.

When you walk them through an attitude adjustment like that, you do much more than just avoid an unproductive confrontation. You equip them for life.


(Parenting) Pursue Your Child

Even on days that I really strive to be positive, I feel like I end up saying “no” to my kids a lot. Especially when it comes to requests to do something with them, I frequently feel like a wet blanket.

Here is a simple way to change that pattern. Look for an opportunity to do something with them without them requesting it. Select an activity that you know they love or that they have previously asked you to do with them.

We all desire to be pursued by the ones we love. When somebody that we love comes to us and wants to be with us, and in fact offers to do something with us that they know we love to do, we feel a surge of love and appreciation. They love us! They want to be with us! They understand what is important to us!

It is the same with a child’s heart. We need to pursue them.


(Parenting) Repetition

Have you discovered yet that parenting is all about repetition? Whether it is in the form of a reminder or a consistent, yet every-changing, way of guiding the child’s behavior, a lot of the parenting challenges we face day in and day out are the same. This can be so frustrating! It can cause us to question whether or not we are making an impact on our child, and if they are learning or listening at all.

But then have you noticed that on repetition #50, then #71, #86, #90, #92, and #93, they get it?

If you embrace this fundamental function of parenting, it will change your world. I challenge you to put aside thoughts that begin with, “They should know….” Maybe they do know. But if they display behavior that contradicts it, that simply means that they still need you to teach and guide them. Your work is not done when the child simply gains head-knowledge. You finally start gaining ground when you see that knowledge changing their actions, and then when  you see that knowledge changing their actions on a consistent basis.

So next time you have to repeat yourself….again….take heart and don’t give up. You are making a huge impact on the life of your child and the repetition is just a reminder that they still need you to walk with them.