January’s Parenting Tip: Mindful Parenting

Dec 27, 2023

As a working parent, do you often find yourself rushing from one thing to the next without really feeling present?

According to Leslie Hundt, Program Director of Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations in Downtown Milwaukee, Oak Creek and West Allis/Wauwatosa, “You’re not alone. Our society has put so many demands on us as employees, parents, and other important roles we play that we often find ourselves feeling drained and unconnected to everyone we interact with.”

So how can we change this, especially when we are spending time with our families?

“The key is to simplify and focus on what really matters,” says Hundt.

Here are some tips:

Remember that your children will only be little for a short period of time. In fact, they will spend many more years as adults than children. Set routines, limits, and expectations on your time, so when you are with your family you are fully present.

Put Electronics Down
“When you walk in the door, plug your phone in and allow it to charge until your children go to bed” says Hundt. “Any text messages, emails and social media can wait. By doing this, you are sending a strong message to your children that they come first.”

Prioritize Family Dinners
Make dinnertime a priority. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate meal or even at a table, but take time to sit together as a family to talk about your day without any distractions such as electronics or television.

“This is a wonderful time for your entire family to reconnect and talk about the highs and lows of their day. It allows each family member to have center stage for a moment and connect with others.”

Lower Your Expectations

Social media sites such as Pinterest, Facebook and blog posts have led us to believe every activity we do should be picture perfect.

Sometimes families get so caught up in the outcome of a family activity, they forget about being present during the process. If your family has fun together, that is all that matters. That is what your children will remember.

Listen and Learn
No matter how busy you are, whenever anyone in your family is talking to you, make it a point to look up from what you are doing and make eye contact with them. This allows you to better focus on the person who is talking, listen to what they are saying and learn something new. If you want your children to talk to you when they are teenagers, listen when they are little. Establish open communication early and often.

Recognize That Not Every Day Will Be Perfect

Some days will be better than others. On days that are stressful, focus on what truly matters. If your time is limited, make sure the time you do have counts. Make whatever moments you have the best they can be.

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; individualized, nurturing care; and 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 .