Well-rounded, healthy kids, need you to be engaged with them. This will improve their mental health, and can even help with their overall wellness. Reducing your own distractions is a really good way to start becoming more engaged in them.
Be Present When They Are Talking
When your kids get home from school, it is usually when they are excited about the day and want to tell you about what they did or learned. This is a good time to be present and really pay attention to what they have to say. It is wonderful for your kid’s self-esteem when they know mom and dad truly want to hear what they have to say, follow along with their stories and chime in when appropriate. Always have an open ear ready to listen to your kids, instead of constantly being distracted by other things.
Put the Phone Down
Your cell phone is probably one of the biggest distractions that keep you from paying more attention to your kids. It is hard to stay engaged with them when your nose is constantly on your phone. Of course, there are times when you need to look at it, like answering an important text or checking your calendar. But when your kids want to have playtime with you or are telling a story, turn the phone off and put it down for a while. Your kids will notice that you are putting in an effort, which is huge for their confidence and mental health.
Reduce Screen Time
This isn’t just for the kids, but for you as well. If you want to spend more quality time with your kids, cooking meals, and going on family walks, there is really only enough time when you reduce some of the other unhealthy activities you might have. Reduce their TV and computer time during the week so that there is extra time for engaging and socializing with each other. This is good for their mental and physical health.
Find Activities to do Together
Finally, think about some activities you can participate in together. This might be walking the dog in the evening after dinner, teaching them how to cook or bake, or playing outside over the weekend. Take them to the lake to fish and go hiking, or just help them with their homework while the TV and cell phone are turned off completely.