Coaching parents who desire a deep connected relationship with their children involves a journey into conscious parenting. One of the most important shifts I can illuminate is moving from the idea of patience in to the principle of presence. This coincides with the false beliefs that you can put off having quality time until “later,” or that you need to be on vacation in order to connect. This shift allows you to experience connectedness in your relationship now, and every day.
Patience is a word that gets used often in conversations around children. And patience in and of itself implies anticipation, where there is a disconnect between how things are and how we want them to be. We display patience when we wait without getting angry for something to be different, or the circumstances to change somehow. A need for patience would never exist in a true shift into presence. Being present to your experience with your child, or to any situation, is allowing yourself to be fully immersed in the moment. There is no room in the present moment to think about what could be different, or what else you could be doing. Practicing presence allows parents to have rich experiences with our children. It opens up our own childlike qualities of vulnerability, trust, courage, creativity, compassion, and pure joy. It is far more rewarding and eliminates the need for practicing patience.
Here’s one way you can be present to an experience with your child. First put away the phone(s) and remember to slow down. We all know what multi tasking is, now it’s time to single task. Choose one activity to do with your child, whether it’s a game or reading a book together, and give it your full attention. When your mind starts to wander remember to bring yourself back to the present moment. The younger your child is, the easier it probably is for them to be present. If we notice this we can learn a lot by playing with them.