Giving Your Kids Your Full Attention
When life gets hectic, it can be easy to half-listen when your children are talking, forget to do something they’ve asked, or to make eye contact with them instead of with your smartphone. When you do finally come up for air, you probably feel guilty that you haven’t been there for your child. Here are 10 ways to stop the cycle and plug back into your child’s life.
Turn off your cell phone, computer and any other electronic device that consumes you, and focus your attention on your children. If you don't want them texting at the dinner table, you shouldn't, either.
When your child talks to you, stop what you're doing and listen. Really hear what he has to say. Children aren't known for initiating conversation, so take advantage when they do.
Ask specific things about their days at school. Who did she sit by at lunch? What were some of the questions on his geography quiz? What did she like about the assembly?
MAKE A DATE
Take the kids to a movie they want to see. Take them out to eat at a restaurant of their choice. While you're hanging out with them, talk to them. You'll be surprised what you might find out.
Tell your children why you are proud of them. Let them know what they've done today that makes you smile.
SAY "I LOVE YOU"
Those three little words go a long way. Think about how you feel when someone says them to you.
START A NEW HOBBY TOGETHER
Whether it's a music class or a kayaking expedition, learning something new together can be a lot of fun.
ATTEND SPORTING EVENTS
Getting to all your child's games can be difficult. When you're able to be there, stay fully present and watch the game rather than your cell phone.
HAVE A FAMILY MEETING
Sit down with your children and talk about what's been going on in your relationship. Discuss the ups and the downs.
Something as simple as a hug or a kiss can completely change a person's day, whether you're the giver or the recipient.
Don't be too hard on yourself for becoming disconnected from your child. If you start doing just one thing on this list, your relationship will improve -- and your child will appreciate your effort.
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