In a blink of an eye, 2019 has come to an end. It seems as if time has no conscience. Our children are another year older, another year wiser (or so they think), and as parents, we seem to just watch it all pass but remain unable to stop the inevitable.
We’re so busy running around in the daily hamster wheel that is life that we might forget to stop and be truly present with our families.
How can we become more present in the New Year?
1. Eat together
Even if it is one night a week, make that night count. Sit around the table, enjoying each other’s company, asking questions that delve a little deeper into what your children might be experiencing. Share your favourite parts of the week with your family, as well as the difficult ones. Create a conversation.
2. Greet one another
Instead of rushing in and out of the door each day, stop to acknowledge each other. A physical touch, hug, or kiss on the cheek to accompany your “hello” or “goodbye” will go a long way. Embrace and appreciate those real moments of affection.
3. Put the phone in time out
Have you ever sat in a restaurant and watched other families? How many of them are staring straight at their devices? No conversation happening. No interaction. No laughing. No meaningful engagement. You get the point right?
4. Get physical together
It’s hard enough to keep a fitness NY resolution on your own, why not simplify it by including the kids? Let loose a little. Put on some music and bring out those dance moves. Grab a ball and play some soccer on the lawn. Go for a walk in your local park. Do some gardening. Your children will enjoy and savour every moment.
5. Choose an act of kindness
We all know that children learn by watching their parents’ behaviour. Choose this coming year to reinforce the word KINDNESS in your family. This can start with the way you and your spouse treat one another. Small acts of kindness like making each other coffee in the morning. Remembering to show appreciation by saying please and thank you. You can also get involved in a charity organisation, become a volunteer, and donate.
6. Say it often
We as parents should always remind our children of how proud we are of them, and saying “I love you” once a day might not be enough. Choosing to be active in our words of affirmation will only increase the bond between a family.
7. Laugh together
A family that laughs together, stays together. Sometimes we need to unplug from the world and just be. Embrace the silliness, let go of the stress of life for just a minute, and laugh.