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!