Parenting is a blessing, but sometimes it’s challenging, especially with little to no support. Through it
all, there are kids watching parents, hoping and waiting on them to love, provide, and protect.
Not only is parenting a challenge at times, but adulting is too. It’s a lot different than the way it
looked in the cartoons and children’s movies I saw as a child. Don’t get me wrong, I love my
children more than anything and wouldn’t change a thing, but I think admitting that it’s challenging
sometimes is a reminder that I am a normal human being.
With parenting, many of us have to balance
work, kids, a spouse, partner, co-parent,
financial responsibilities, social life (if there’s
time for one), our children’s education, and
most importantly their emotional well-being.
Kids have lots of questions, needs, concerns,
and so much more. I’ve learned as a parent
to be intentional about taking time out to ask
them about their day and make them feel like
whatever is going on in their lives is just as
important as what I have going on in mine. As a result, I am reminded of the importance of not
being too busy to show love, kindness, respect, patience, understanding, and so much more.
Like adults, kids just want to know and feel love. When we are busy with work, it’s usually because
we have to do what we have to do so we can continue to provide even if it means long hours and
not making adequate time for our children. The thing about our job is that sometimes we may
accidentally send a message to children that it is more important than them, even though we know
it’s not. Kids don’t always understand that. Have you ever had your child ask you to do something
and in the moment of appearing too busy and preoccupied your child says something like “Stop!
Look at me! Listen to me!” If so, you’re not alone. Kids want to be seen and heard too, that’s a part
of them feeling loved. If you ever find yourself feeling like you’ve been too busy to show love, don’t
beat yourself up about it. Just find time to do it no matter how big or how small. The little things
count more than the big things. Here are a few suggestions:
Hold quick check-ins with your child.
During a car ride turn off the radio, put the phone away, and have a conversation with your child.
Find a show you can watch together and then talk about it together.
Ask your child about their day on the way to and from school.
Use Sunday nights to highlight 2-3 things you and your kids want to accomplish during the week (Create family goals night).
Pretend you’re having a business meeting with your child and hold a fun conversation over zoom, even if you’re in the same house.
Instead of talking about school work, ask your child how he/she is doing emotionally.
Speak to your child at his/her eye level (Don’t be afraid to get on the floor and talk if you need to).
Celebrate a small accomplishment by going to grab some ice-cream, their favorite treat, or something from a store like the Dollar Tree.
Make time for a family game night.
Color or draw pictures together.
Do things that will make you laugh together.
Read a book together.
Cuddle together, hug often, and be intentional about showing affection to your child.
Sneak little I love you notes in your child’s lunch bag, underneath their pillow, or somewhere they will see it when they are not expecting it.
Send your child a text message to say I love you.
Whisper “I love you” in your child’s ear when he/she is asleep.
Talk to your child’s teacher to find out 2-3 great things he/she did that you can celebrate with him/her. If your child’s teacher constantly points out things your child is not doing well, ask the teacher to be as diligent about contacting you about the good things too.
Be intentional about letting your children know they can talk to you about anything and that if they can’t you will find someone both of you trust that they can talk to.
Learn to say “I’m sorry” if you make a mistake.
Be patient, flexible, and understanding.
Bottom line is, never be too busy to show love. When it comes down to it, that’s what our kids
want from us. Even though we have good intentions behind some of the things we do, kids don’t
know and don’t always understand. Never be too busy to say “How was your day?” “How can I
support you?” “What’s on your mind?”. Never be so busy that a child starts to think your job,
phone, hobby, and friends are more important than them. Our children are watching our every
move even when it doesn’t look like they are. We owe it to our children to pour the same love,
time, and energy into them that we do for other things and people we love.