Now that the presents are un-wrapped, the cookies are eaten and the guests are all gone, it is time to get back to everyday life. I love the holidays, but I also look forward to the feeling of calm and routine that January brings. I ‘m not usually one for New Year’s resolutions but this January I am striving to be “present” and “in the moment.” Giving others your full attention when you are with them lets them know they are important and worth your time. It helps to build strong relationships. Being “present” with your children is really important, no matter how old they might be. When my youngest child was a baby, she would use her hands to physically turn my head towards her, so that I would stop whatever I was doing, and pay attention to her! That was a pretty clear sign that she wanted and needed my attention. Not all babies are that persistent but all babies do need you to be “present” as much as possible.
Now, I realize that “being present” is a lofty goal and I have spent some time thinking about how I might accomplish this.. Here are a few ideas that I’ve come up with:
Since I work during the day I do not see my children until we are all home in the late afternoon or early evening. Many of you may be in this same situation. I have decided that from the time I arrive home, until my children’s bedtime, I will try to avoid talking on the phone, being on the computer, or watching television. This will allow me to be attentive to my children’s needs. I can return calls once they are in bed and record my favorite television shows to watch at a later time.
I will include my children in necessary tasks that require my attention (e.g., cooking dinner, cleaning up) as much as possible. It’s really important to remember that none of us are perfect, and all we can do is try our best.
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