6 Ways To Be A More Present Parent


In today’s society, so much emphasis is put on helping children focus on the here and now, maintaining a healthy, balanced relationship with technology. But what about for us as parents? Our days are filled with multi-tasking, to-do lists, and social media – at such a rate that it is easy to become overwhelmed. Living in DC, this non-stop culture brings an extra level of intensity. When I noticed how easy it was for me to be pulled away from my children by these little distractions, I decided it was time to take steps to become a more present parent. 

Now don’t get me wrong – as a stay at home mom for 5 years and counting, I am definitely WITH my children…A LOT. But physical presence does not always translate to being all there emotionally and mentally. Moms, in particular, feel this pressure acutely. Yet many studies have shown that it’s all about focusing on the quality, not quantity, of time spent together. So, how have I found ways to increase quality time? Here are my 6 strategies.


#1: Have Deliberate “Special Time” with Your Child(ren) Each Day

I’ve heard this one a few times from different parenting pros. Take just 10 minutes each day for some one-on-one time with each of your kids. Do a puzzle, play a board game, build some train tracks, kick the soccer ball – let them choose the activity! Ten minutes might not seem like a lot, but the importance is this concentrated time with just the two of you. This special time helps you connect in ways you can’t as part of a bigger family. 


#2: Delete Social Media Apps from Your Phone

The siren call of social media is something we all fall prey to. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram – pick your poison. Last December, I noticed how much time I spent mindlessly scrolling. So, starting New Years Day, I took a social media “fast”. I deleted my social media apps from my phone and it was hard. BUT SO GOOD. At the end of the month, I decided I liked my life better without the instant option to touch one button and see what hundreds of Facebook friends were all doing. Of course I still check social media every day, but it is a more conscious decision I make now. If I want to log into Facebook on my phone, I have to actually sign in via an internet browser app – and those extra steps make it not as desirable as a way to kill time. If social media is a total time-suck for you, seriously consider this. 

#3: Involve Your Kids in the Process

When kids help with tasks, it takes twice as long. But the benefits definitely outweigh the loss of time and efficiency! I try to involve my girls in whatever chore or activity we are doing. For example, my 5 year old loves to help with dinner prep. She likes to wash and chop the vegetables, and it gives her a sense of importance to help me with this task. It brings us together and is a great opportunity to connect over a shared activity.

 #4: Practice Gratefulness

In our family, practicing gratefulness is a daily ritual. Each day, we all choose one thing to say thanks for during evening prayers. As a parent, it helps me to learn what is truly important to my children. As a family, it helps us to connect in the moment. Practicing gratefulness is a habit that is essential for healthy development for all ages! There is no better way for a child to learn gratefulness than by having it modeled by their parents.

#5: Put the Phone Away to be a More Present Parent 

Did you know that each day we consume 174 newspapers’ worth of information?! Much of this information overload comes from our favorite accessories – our phones. When my phone is out, it is a distraction for me and my children. If they see me on my phone, they are more likely to beg for screen time for themselves. I try (not always successfully!) to keep my phone away from the time the girls get home from school until bedtime. This way, I can be more present with them with whatever activity we do.

#6: Foster Good Conversation 

Having a conversation with a 2 year old looks a lot different than a conversation with an 8 year old, but all ages need to feel heard. In an age when so many adult interactions are limited to screens, likes, and follows, it’s helpful for us to practice conversational skills too! Working on conversation skills is a worthwhile practice that grounds you in the present moment. 

“Wherever you are, be all there.” –Jim Elliot

Certain distractions are inevitable, but you can be a more present parent with these strategies. I’d love to hear any additional ideas you have in the comments! 





  1. Thank you Juliet! This is a very helpful article. I am dedicated to try to be more present. To put away my phone. It is so evident how they change when we do that.

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