April’s Parenting Tip: How to Become a More Engaged Parent

Mar 27, 2024

Many parents desire to be more engaged in their children’s lives. Although this is an unrelenting desire for some, it is common for days, weeks, months, and even years to get away from parents as they hustle to tend to all of the responsibilities on their plate.

According to Beverly Anderson, executive director of Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations in Oak Creek, Downtown Milwaukee and on the West Allis/Wauwatosa border, “It is important for parents to slow down and put things into perspective. Take the time to evaluate and eliminate unnecessary things that hijack your time.”

“Think of ways to simplify your life so that you are not too consumed with the urgency of what needs to be done rather than enjoying precious moments and making memories with your children.”

Here are some practical tips to help you be a more engaged parent.

Update Your Calendar and Block Out Time
When you write your schedule and update your calendar, include opportunities to participate in events, activities, and gatherings with your children. Scheduling time for things that are important to your children in your schedule is a great way to prioritize your involvement in their life.

Enjoy the Moment
You may be tempted to think about the list of things that you need to complete such as doing the dishes, checking emails, scrolling through your phone and answering calls. However, your undivided attention to your children will make a bigger impact on your children than most things on your to do list.

Sign Up / Volunteer
When your child attends school or childcare, there are often opportunities to participate in activities and volunteer to help in various ways. There are field trips, fundraisers, seasonal events, and activities that you can sign up to volunteer for. Your involvement will set a great example for your children and even help to build a common bond between the two of you.

Open the Door of Communication
When you engage with your child and get more involved in their day-to-day life, you will have so much to talk about. Spending time talking and listening to one another will reveal new interests and ideas. It can also help instill confidence, trust, and fortify healthy parent-child relationships.

Set Routines
There are times when other responsibilities may get in your way, and you are unable to do some of the things that you planned to do. Setting routines can be an excellent way to stay engaged when you are short on time. Embrace the mundane. Short gaps of time like car rides, dinner time, morning routines and bedtime routines are great ways to stay consistent and connect with your children.

Stay In the Know
Having ongoing communication with your child’s teacher and/or caregiver is vital. Parents and teachers can work together to provide helpful information and insight to one another to enhance your child’s development. This partnership shows your child how much you care about them no matter how busy your schedule is.  

Take Time for Self-Care
If you are always on the go, you need to set aside time to take care of yourself. Start by thinking about what fills you up. It does not need to be long or expensive. It can be as simple as going outside for a walk on a sunny day, reading a book, going to a movie, or sitting in silence for a few minutes. Use this time to relax and recharge. It may seem like a waste of time when you are so busy, but your children are watching you. If they see you taking time to care for yourself, they will learn to do the same.

Ebenezer Child Care Centers is a not-for-profit, locally based agency committed to providing early childhood programs from the heart. The agency prides itself on being different from other child care providers in that it offers a home-like atmosphere with individualized and nurturing care. They agency has a structured curriculum that is virtues-based for every child’s developmental stage.

Every Ebenezer Child Care Center focuses on all aspects of a child’s development: cognitive, physical, emotional, and social. In addition to providing quality care, the agency also offers free Parenting Talks and other educational programming all aimed at helping parents. The agency has locations in Downtown Milwaukee, Oak Creek and West Allis/Wauwatosa. The agency’s main office is located at 1138 S. 108th Street, West Allis. For more information, please call 414-643-5070.