Spending time with your kids means more than sitting in the same room as them. It involves being fully present and engaged during your time together. Your presence can’t be replaced by physical objects or copied by anyone else. It is unique, and your children need it in their lives. You are one of your child’s favorite people, and they yearn for your attention.
Children thrive with involved parents, which means so much to them when you show up. Attending extracurricular events, helping with homework, and cuddling is essential to a developing child. Parents who work out of the home can still be diligent and present.
Children love new toys and tend to ask for many of them. However, nothing means more to them than spending time with you. Give them time, energy, love, and presence–it means more than any toy you could buy.
Why Your Presence Means So Much to Your Child
People are always on their smartphones or electronic devices when you look around them. Although they are in the presence of others, they’re not engaged or present. This same situation applies to the way you parent your children.
Your work life can interfere with your ability to be present with your children. When you work long hours and don’t make time to have fun with your kids, they’ll miss out on things they need.
If these situations sound familiar, it could mean that your child needs more of your presence. It doesn’t matter how much money you make if your child feels disconnected from you.
They Want You to Notice Them
They want you to notice their smiles, laughter, hugs, and sadness. They also want you to be active in the uncomfortable moments when they need your security and comfort. They rely on you, and it can devastate their mental health if you aren’t there.
Your Presence Gives Them Comfort and Security
Children feel more comfortable when they know where you are. This comfort is why they seek you out when you’re at home. They might not need anything but want to see you and find comfort in your presence.
Knowing you are nearby gives children a sense of security that nothing else can replace. They often want to know that you’re close, even if they don’t need your full attention at that moment. When you’re always out of the house prioritizing wealth, they won’t find comfort because you’re not around.
It Lets Them Know They Are Loved
Your child grows up knowing that they are loved and cherished. They know their parents care about them and want to see them do well and be happy. It doesn’t take wealth to give your child these feelings, and it’s something they need.
They Need Your Example
Children learn from their parents from the time they’re born. They learn how to speak, walk, hold eating utensils, use the bathroom, and every other milestone. Children watch everything you do, even if they say nothing about it.
If you aren’t present for them to learn from, it leads them to miss developmental milestones. It can also push them to learn from other sources, and that’s not always beneficial. Spend time showing them that you are there to guide them through life.
Children Need Physical Touch
The physical touch from a loved one is powerful for children. Their need for contact is one of the benefits of skin-to-skin contact after birth. As your child ages, they still need you there to love and nurture them.
Physical touch increases brain development and protects your child from feeling separated. Cuddle with your child, let them sit on your lap, and give them plenty of hugs.
Your Presence Helps Build Their Self-Esteem
Involved parents help their children gain confidence and self-esteem. When you attend their concerts, games, and school events, it makes them feel secure and loved. Helping with their homework or making sure it’s complete also promotes their sense of self-worth.
When you prioritize wealth over presence, your child misses out on these opportunities for building self-esteem. They will be more likely to become insecure and feel unworthy.
Your Presence Promotes Better Communication Skills
Being present in your child’s life allows them to develop skills, including:
- Critical thinking
- Using manners
If you don’t spend time talking to and engaging with your child, they don’t get to learn from you. The more you talk to them, the better they’ll become at socialization. You can use this time to teach them about engaging respectfully and appropriately.
They Get Better Grades With a Present Parent
Studies show that children with present parents do better in school. They get better grades and make a better impression on their teacher than others. A parent’s involvement in school-related activities has the best effect, but being involved in homework plays a role.
Your Presence Promotes Better Behavior
Behavior issues often occur in children whose parents aren’t present in their lives. Their parent might be there physically but remain socially distant or disconnected. Children who have involved parents benefit because they:
- Get in less trouble at school
- Have less involvement with alcohol and other substances
- Commit fewer delinquent acts than others
- Experience less aggression
How to Be More Present in Your Child’s Life
When you assume your child needs wealth and materialistic items, you interfere with their development. They need your presence more than anything else, allowing them to grow and feel loved.
When you think you don’t have the time to be present, it’s time to reprioritize. Your child isn’t the only one who benefits from your participation in their life. It’ll help you realize how much you love being a parent and releases stress and pressure.
Everyone’s lifestyle is different, so what works for one family may not work for another. If you’re unsure how to become present with your child, these ideas can help.
Put Away Electronics
You might think you’re present but not fully there if you’re on a device. Multitasking and focusing on distractions eliminate the benefits of spending time together. Instead, make it a point to focus on giving your child warmth and attention.
Your presence involves letting your child take the lead while you engage. Offer observations, encouragement, and ideas to help you feel connected. These behaviors allow you to focus on your child, nourishing their needs and building a bond.
Do Housework Together
Doing chores helps you focus on the present and engage with those around you. Focusing your mental and physical energy on each task helps keep you from getting distracted or lost in thought. Asking your children to help you with household tasks allows you to bond with them while teaching the importance of hard work.
Focus on Your Five Senses
If you can’t seem to stay present with your children, refocusing can help. Take a deep breath, and then focus on your five senses by doing the following:
- Acknowledge what you see
- Focus on what you hear
- Touch something nearby
- Think about what you smell
- Determine if you can taste anything
This mindfulness activity helps you embrace your presence in your child’s life. As you think about your senses, release any other thoughts so that you can focus on what’s going on right now.
Reprioritize to Make More Time in Your Schedule
If you don’t have time to be present with your children, you must make a change. Let go of activities that no longer serve you, and adjust your schedule to fit your family life. Make time to read, create, connect, and spend time with your children.
Enjoy life, doing things like being in nature or relaxing with your family. Take the time to slow down and embrace each moment you have with your kids. It makes your children feel better, easing stress, anxiety, resentment, and overall discontent.
Focus on Gratitude
When you focus on gratitude, you’ll realize the essential parts of your life. A gratitude journal can help you remember what you’re thankful for before bed each night. It reminds you that you’re here to encourage and nurture your child, not focus on wealth.
When you focus on gratitude, it also teaches your child to do the same. They’ll pick up your habits and live happier lives from an early age.
Final Thoughts on Why Your Presence Means So Much to Your Child
While your child might beg and insist on having the newest toys and electronics, they don’t need them. They need your presence in their life every step of the way. You can’t buy your child’s love or make enough money to teach them the things you’re not there for.
Instead, you must be there to guide your child as they develop and grow. Don’t let their childhood slip away without spending as much time as you can nurturing and loving them. No one can replace your role in your child’s life, and it’s up to you to make it happen.