As a working parent, I understand how challenging it is to feel that you have enough of a presence in your child or children's lives. Even when I was a work-at-home mom, I still sometimes realized that I wasn't really present for my son - even when I was right there next to him. Especially when our children are young, it's so easy to start looking at our phones, checking emails or just generally checking out. Let's be honest - while they are delightful and fascinating - they are not fascinating or conversational all of the time. So how can we find ways to be more 'present' in the time we do have with our children, no matter how much time that is? I have been thinking about this issue even more because of some conversations here on Vingle I have had with @AmparoBecerra and @nokcha, which came from these cards: http://www.vingle.net/posts/591212 http://www.vingle.net/posts/592714 I was happy, therefore, to find an article on that exact topic by a writer on parenting that I particularly enjoy, Tricia Goyer. She has posted "40 Ways to Be Present in Your Child's Day." Here are some of my favorites: - Sing “This Little Piggie Went to Market” as you put on your child’s socks. - Make eye contact when your child asks you a question. - Use different voices when reading a bedtime story. - Take a deep breath and say a prayer thanking God for “right now.” - Get on the floor and invite your child to join you. - Put down your smart phone. Set it aside and pick it up and check it once and hour. - Ignore the dishes, the laundry, the vacuuming for the first hour of the day and start the day off with your child. - Find ways to say “Yes” rather than “No.” - Reflect on what your child is doing at that moment. “You are standing on one leg. You are jumping up and down.” Don’t feel you have to praise for no reason … kids just enjoy the focused attention. - Slow down. Take twice as long as you plan on doing something, and do it with your child. - Soak in your child’s stories. Ask for more details. - Ask your child what he/she would like to do for ten minutes. Set a timer and have fun. - Go into the yard and see what type of creatures you can find. - Play Simon Says. - Tell your child than you are so thankful he/she is part of your family. - Ask your child to help you with whatever your working on. - Go on a lunch date. There are lots of other good tips if you follow the attached link. Here are a couple of mine: - In cases when you cannot avoid television: Instead of letting your child watch TV alone while you get stuff done, try sitting with them and watching together, even giving some commentary. - Leave a little note in your child's lunch to remind them of your love and your presence in their life no matter where they are. I loved it when my mom did this for me! - Read Nancy Tillman's book together: "Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You. What are some ways you try to be present for your child? Or, what did you appreciate from your parents that made you feel their presence?