Kristen Stuppy’s “crazy, hectic life” as a pediatrician in a busy practice and a mom of two children at home gives her credibility when she advises the parents of her patients to “make the time to be present in their lives”:
It is important that kids know parents are there for them, even if they aren’t physically able to be there all the time.
The best way to do that is to show kids. When you’re together, really be together. Don’t keep checking your phone. Make conversation. Make eye contact. Have fun.
Sneak in quality time whenever you can, however briefly, like at mealtime, playtime, when traveling in the car…:
Talk on car rides.
Make routine trips no-screen rides.
On longer trips consider an audiobook that you can all listen to and discuss along the way.
… and at bedtime:
Definitely at bedtime make the time to connect.
Those night time stories, back rubs, and cuddles are the perfect time to bond.
Even when your kids can read, take time to read to each other.
Giving children your undivided attention can be difficult but is essential for effective parenting:
Make eye contact when your kids ask for your attention.
Even if you’re busy making dinner or doing the dishes, be considerate enough to look at them when you’re speaking to them.
So often we get upset by our children’s manners, but we forget who they’re modeling after.
We can all use this reminder, too:
Turn off your cell phone. Don’t check e-mail or social media.
Set a good example and talk with the people you’re with.
So many studies are being done that show parents ignoring their kids due to electronics.
You have time to check email after your kids go to bed when they’re young. When they’re older and their bedtime rivals yours, you can find time when they’re doing homework or when they’re at an activity.
No need to ruin family time with work, social media, or other things that can be done when you’re alone. I cannot stress the importance of this. Don’t miss your real life and your children’s lives by wasting time on screens.
“Stop the guilt,” Dr. Stuppy demands of working moms:
I see far too much guilt in parenting.
Guilt because you choose to give baby a bottle.
Guilt because you want your baby to sleep through the night.
It never ends.
There’s a lot more in this excellent article for moms and dads to read here.