Be Present… Always Your Best Strategy
Last night I was on a webinar for workers in my church’s children’s ministry, and the speaker said something that’s the best advice I can give you too…
During this time of uncertainty when so many parents are asking what it is that they should be doing for their children, tell them this:
It’s always your best strategy.
I love it!
I wish I had said it first!
But now I can say it to you and I know that’s why I heard it.
No matter what we’re trying to do for our kids (or teach parents to do for their kids!), being present, being fully invested in whatever it is that you’re doing with a child, is your starting point.
Don’t think about the ten other things you still need to do.
Stay in the moment.
When you’re giving a child a bath, enjoy the bath too. Feel the warm water on your skin. Smell the baby shampoo. Splash. Play. Linger for a while, even a long while, before moving on.
When you’re changing another diaper, take the time to sing a song. Count little toes. Blow on that sweet baby belly. Give one last hug before your little one runs away.
When you’re tempted to yell about picking up the same toys over and over again, make it a game, not a chore. “I see a car. Who can get it first?”
That extra effort – to be fully present and engaged and pleasant – may turn out to be one of your child’s favorite memories.
Weeks, or months, or years from now, that thought may be a vivid reminder of how very much you love them.
It may even come to be one of your favorite memories too.
I can teach you lots of other strategies to work on a child’s language skills during those times, but it always starts with being “in.”
You’ll miss it if you’re not careful!