Simple Tips for Engaging with Your Child Today

How many times have you been at the computer muttering, uh-huh, yep, okay to your child only to realize that you haven’t listened to a single word they said?

They could have said, “Mom, I’m going to get the sharpest knife you have in the kitchen, then I am going to go run around while holding the knife, ok?!”  To which you just said, “Yep, okay honey, have fun.”  Sadly, I am so guilty of this!

In this day and age, our lives are lived at warp speed.  As mommies, we have no choice but to become experts at multi-tasking.  The thing is, in my opinion, we aren’t very good at it.  We live out our days only half-engaged at best.  Our children deserve more.  They deserve all of our attention and our very best attention. 

Ok, that’s just great, you think.  What is the solution?

First, we need take a moment to pray and ask the Lord to redirect our hearts.

Then, it is up to us to make a conscious choice to make our children a big priority in our day.  Not doing things for them, but choosing to make space to be with them.

How? Well, if you are forgetting to engage, really engage with your children during your day I have some ideas for you!!

Here are some simple things to do today that will get you back on track:

1.  Look. Look at your child when they are talking.  Turn and look them full in the face. Get down on their level, and really listen to what they have to say.

2.  Smile. Smile at your children all day long.  Proverbs 17:22 tells us that a joyful heart is good medicine.  Since our children can’t see our hearts, they need to see joy in our smile.

3.  Focus.  Focus on one thing at a time.  When you are helping your child learn to tie their shoe, don’t be on the phone or texting a friend.  Be in that moment.

4.  Say YES!  Whether your child wants to make mud pies, build a fort with blankets, or help you in the kitchen…just say yes.  Give it a try.  You may be surprised, it could actually be fun!

5.  Get down.  On the floor, that is.  Whether your child is 2 or 12, get down on the floor with them.  Play a game, read a story, or color a picture.  Spend some time down on the floor just enjoying being together.

It’s true, we have a lot of things in our lives to accomplish, and frankly, they are all good things. However,  the Lord has given us our precious children to train and invest in, let’s choose to do that task well.  I officially give you permission to let other things go undone.

What are some ways that you engage with your children?  I’d love to hear your ideas!

Blessings, Joy

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • Tess Benson

    love this!!

  • Djkoll

    I’ve been working on this lately; closing the laptop and taking time to play. I don’t want the memory my kids have of me growing up to be sitting in front of the computer or too busy to do anything. I’ve realized how precious these years are and want to enjoy every moment I can :- )

    • Joy

      Thanks for sharing. I agree, these years are so precious! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  • http://www.clayinhishands-sarah.blogspot.com/ ClayInHisHands

    Great reminders! It is so easy to get caught up in the moment of whatever needs doing. It really does take conscious effort to “be there” with our children. I try to plan a fun craft or sit on the floor and work puzzles, play games, color, etc. every single day and I also like to call them to me when they are doing something else, just to look into their eyes and say “Mommy loves you SOO much! Do you know that?”

    • Joy

      I love the idea of planning something fun for every day. Good idea. And I LOVE your sweet idea of calling them to you and saying sweet things. Precious. Just precious!

  • http://joyfulmothering.net Christin

    These are really great tips and so simple to do, really. :)

    • Joy

      Thanks Christin! You are such a great encourager.

  • Jason Southerland

    Thank you so much Joy! What an incredible and timely post!
    -RaShell

    • Joy

      Thanks RaShell. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1288413409 Stacey Westbrook

    I {usually} try to save my computer/networking/writing time for evenings..after eveythings is done..(well, as done as its going to be) I escape to my bedroom….and probably 50% of the time I find children in there with me. I used to get upset….yelling “this is my time”….over the past few months, I have decided that when they come in to “hang out” I will put the computer down and just hang out …..these moments have been some of the BEST talk times with my boys ranging from 9yrs old to 17yrs old…their conversation just seems to come to life in there….?
    Sometimes it takes me a while to remember to put things away…sometimes I fail all together….but tomorrow is always a new day!

    • Joy

      Stacey,
      Great thoughts! I love the picture of you hanging out with your boys. What a treasure.
      And, yes, we all fail. I fail daily. And you are so right, tomorrow is another day, with no mistakes in it yet! :)

      • Handsfull

        I LOVE the thought that tomorrow has no mistakes in it yet! I think I’m going to write that down and stick it up on the wall to remind me :)

  • Beth

    Some good advice….. thank you!

    • Joy

      You are welcome. I need to hear this advice as much as the next girl! :)

  • http://thechuppies.blogspot.com/ Kara @ The Chuppies

    I really appreciate this Joy.
    I want to be all-here…
    Love the part about being a “Yes” mom too.
    So much of it really comes down to selfishness (on my part)…

    • Joy

      I agree. That ugly selfishness that we all deal with. It’s part of our sin nature, sadly. But I’m glad to be on this journey with you, Kara! We can learn together, and I love that us contributors here at the better mom can spur one another on! :)

  • jaime

    Great article. Sad but true, life seems to get in the way of what is truly important. Thank you for the tips-I will definilty be more aware of my kids conversations:)

    • Joy

      You are welcome!

  • Agpyt

    this totally hit the spot for me! i start out my day with the best of intentions, but sometimes i just get sucked in and not payign as much attention to my kids as i should. i am going to work on being focused!!!

  • Heathahlee

    Great post! I needed this reminder!

  • lisaknight66

    Thanks, Joy. I try to do my “internet stuff” in the am before my kids wake up.
    Blessings,
    Lisa

    • Joy

      Lisa,
      Me too!! It helps me stay on task to know that the computer has to be shut down before they get up. The hard thing is when I open it in the middle of the day to “check” something “real quick”, that’s when I can easily get sucked in. :)

  • http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com womenlivingwell

    Great post! This is why I love homeschooling…it forces me (sad I have to use the word but it’s true) to sit down one on one with my children and read, learn, explore, be interesting and creative. It makes me give them my undivided attention. It’s been a blessing!

    • Joy

      Amen!

  • Jen Bauer

    Great post! Thanks for the reminder!

  • http://www.onefunmom.com Christy

    I needed the reminder to smile! I so forget to do this in the realities that every day bring. Not today!

    • Joy

      I need the reminder to smile too!! I don’t want my kids to remember me sour-faced, but sometimes I’m sure that’s how I look!! :)

  • Janelle

    Oh yesssss….I am living this right now! My children are 2, 5 and 7 and the broken record in my home is “mama, mama, mama!” I am a very hands on mom..but I have realized that I do tune them out without realizing! I feel so bad about it because they are SO dear to me and I don’t want them to ever feel ignored. This is a great reminder with wonderful loving tips. Love to both of you girls, Janelle

    • Joy

      Thanks for your thoughts Janelle. I’m like you, I don’t mean to tune them out, and then I realize I’m not really listening! I think it’s just a matter of reminding ourselves over and over to be intentional. :) Thanks for the encouragement!!!

  • http://www.petersonponderings.blogspot.com Jennifer p

    Thank you, Joy. As a mom of many, I am guilty of not giving all of me to all of them when they need me. I forget that the 3 & 4 year olds need me as much as my 17 & 21 year olds did when they were little because now we are just plain busier. You are right. All are good things but these treasures are most important.

  • Mandylynn224

    Wish I would have read this early :)) I felt all day that I was quick tempered with my kids..didn’t take the time they deserve to just listen, play, or do whatever..Thanks for the post!!

    • Joy

      All of us need reminding, and often!! As was said in another comment, tomorrow is a new day!! Praise the Lord for grace!!!

  • http://www.homeschoolnewsnetwork.com Savannah

    Fabulous post as usual, Joy. Thank you for continuing your blogging!

  • Elaine Ng Friis

    Very timely reminder and good suggestion to get down to the floor, to their level. Thanks Joy.

  • Thehomespunheart

    Thanks for this, Joy! I’m specifically working on number 1 right now. Love, Monica

    • Joy

      Thank you Monica. I am working on number 1 too! :)

  • Lisa

    and I would add another “Get Down”–put on some tunes and boogie. If they are a little older, however, you are not allowed to do this if any friends are around.

    • Joy

      Love it!!! We love to boogie around our house here. And, yes, if there are older kids and they have friends over, it’s best to keep it on the down low. :)

  • Linda

    My Daughter does ALL of these – sadly – I did not – but she has forgiven me – PRAISE GOD!

    • Joy

      Praise God indeed that His grace is sufficient for our failings. AMEN!

  • Joy

    Great thoughts Cassandra. I agree with you, kids these days really do want a connection with those closest to them. Sadly, many are not getting it at all. Thanks for your great thoughts! I love a good discussion!!
    Blessings.

  • Barb Spencer

    Great post!

  • Anonymous

    I love your point about getting on the ground with the kiddos. It speaks volumes when we spend time with them doing what they are busy about doing. One thing I’ve really implemented is to be truthful when I cannot give real attention to a question, rather than act like I’m listening, or appease my child with a simple nod. They would rather hear my honesty about needing to finish up a task on the computer, promising to give full attention in five minutes, than to pass off a half-hearted response as a true response to their question/idea/greatest revelation ever. :)

  • Pingback: The 3 C’s- Cultivating a Heart for Motherhood | Grace Full Mama

  • HomeschoolingMomMe

    I really appreciate this article & the gentle reminders to be the best moms we can. I am trying to schedule a block of time each day with no interruptions – no answering the emails, texts, doorbell, telephone, etc., beyond just “school time”. Just kid time. Thanks for the ideas & encouragement!

  • JenniferEdgerton

    i just love this. and i strive to be a better mom. some days it is such a struggle and i know that i don’t physically run away and hide, but sitting in front of my computer and not being 100 percent engaged is something I am guilty of at times. I am going to copy and paste this onto my fridge. thank you!

  • craftjunkie85

    My son is almost 2 years old and I am expecting our second child in about 2 months. I have found that once I get down on his level and play cars or build with the blocks or even if I am just sitting there in the floor with him, his whole attitude changes. He just needed to know I was there with him, and with baby #2 on its way I am trying to make more of an effort to get on his level.
    It really does work!

  • Pingback: Did I do what I should have done? {a lesson in parenting}

  • Pingback: Living in the Present - Life Dejunked