It hurt me whenever I heard from my pupils: My mum and dad are always on their phone. My parents were not listening to me when I talked. They were just scrolling through their Facebook. It hurt me more whenever I witnessed family having meals in the restaurants. Each family member was giving their undivided attention to their phone screens. One of my 8-year-old pupils once told me that whenever her family went out for dinner, everyone would scroll through their phones while waiting for the dishes. Except for her. Why? Solely because she did not have a phone. And she said that she felt so lonely as no one was willing to put down their phones for interactions. How ironic it is when we claim that social media gets us closer to one another! While notifications and messages on our phones are keeping us alert, they always keep us occupied and make us sacrifice our time with our children. You may think that you will be just on your phone for 5 minutes. And after the 5 minutes, you'll surely give your children your undivided attention. This is unlikely to happen if you are not aware of the importance of being in the present. Your children, no matter how young they are, know when you listen unattentively or you are distracted. They will eventually close their hearts against you. And you start to wonder how you can make them to talk to you again. Instead of buying them expensive gifts and presents, it's time for you to be aware about the power of being in the present with your children. Why Choose Being In The Present Over Presents? #1: Being present strengthens your parent-child relationship Being in the present leads to closer family relationships. (Photo credit: Pexels) Let's be clear about this. No one likes to be ignored. When our significant ones constantly seem distracted or disinterested in what we say or do, you will start to think they don\u2019t really care.\u00a0On the other hand, we feel appreciated and loved when we get attention and interest from others. This applies too in your parent-child relationship. The moment you put down your phone to enjoy play time with your children, they feel loved as compared to you sitting beside their toys scrolling through your phone.The moment you put down your work to listen to your children's issues, they feel acknowledged and respected. On top of this, this shows that you really care about them and you will always be there for them.\u00a0Here's a useful tip when you are listening to your children's issue: listen and validate their experience and feelings first. Do not rush into blaming them for their mistakes or overreact. These behaviours would only backfire your effort on being present with your children. When you focus on the moment-to-moment experiences with your children, both you and your children will be able to feel closer to one another. Feeling guilty about being an Instamum? Look into the checklist for a guilt-free social media experience. #2: Being present makes you and your child less anxious Sometimes, we just need to let go of the past and future to embrace the present moments. (Photo credit: Pexels) Given the overwhelming schedules, most of us are always in the mode of unhappiness and survival. We are fearful of what we would miss out and as a result, we often feel stressed and anxious. This is because we are constantly concerned about upcoming events in the future based on our past experience. What happens then if we were to focus our attention to the present? We would begin to look into what we can do in the moment with the resources available. We would start to dive deep into our current conditions and try to understand the reasons behind our emotions. Instead of dwelling into our negative emotions and pain in the past or the uncertainties in the future, we would be able to cut down our worrying. We would be able to feel more connected to ourselves and therefore be more contented. As for your children who witness how you deal with lives, they would certainly adopt a similar way whenever they need to cope with similar stressful situations and negative emotions. They would learn that it is pointless to stay frustrated about their past and future and it is better to take positive action in the present. #3: Being present leads you and your children to gratitude Enjoy every moment and be thankful with your children. (Photo credit: Pexels) Most of us would have the experience of hearing our friends' complaints about their work, colleagues, and family lives. While it is good to share your concern or problems with others for some reliefs, we should never linger around our past. The longer you stay looking into your past, the less likely you will be grateful and happy about your life. Here's why. You will either focus too much on your sufferings or excitement that you gain in the past. Thus, you will never be able to notice the moment-to-moment happenings around you and your children in the present. However, if you keep reminding yourself to enjoy the current moments with your children, you will feel more of everything around you. Here's an example with the current situation of the spiking high cases of COVID-19. Instead of worrying whether your children are able to acquire as much knowledge as they learn physically at school, be grateful that they are given the opportunity to explore and learn about technology. Be grateful that they are able to stay at home for a longer time to help out with the household chores. Be grateful that you can now know more about what they are learning at school. Only then, both you and your children will be able to focus being in the present and make the best out of the current situations. Below are 5 quick take-away tips to stay present with your child. \tAllocate quality play time with your child. \tPractice active listening when your child shares about his\/her day. \tBe willing to turn down certain opportunities to secure your quality family time. \tSet routines for family detachment from devices. (eg. meal time and family time) \tPractice gratitude with your child. (be thankful about what you can enjoy now and more exciting life events in the future) Being Present Are The True Presents For Our Children As adults and parents, we might assume that the children are still young and they do not notice or know. In fact, children are often observers and they notice how we are dealing with them. So, be resolved to be present in the moment, especially with your partner and your children. Then, you will be able to reap what you sow in your family relationship. Undivided love and attention from your partner and children, available anytime and anywhere.