I want to end the year well – don’t you?  And yet it is so busy, here in Australia we have the end of school, and with that comes concerts, and graduations, and parties.  We have Christmas – and all that comes with that. A lot of people head off on holidays to catch up with family or just visit somewhere new.  It is a crazy busy time of year. Oh yeah, and while all this happens, we still have to parent.  We still need to be intentional, relational, and heart-focused parents.  So how do we stay connected with our kids, doing the important things, doing these fun things, and these things that build memories and not be distracted?  That is what I’m talking about today – how to be fully present at this time of the year.

How to be Fully Present in December as You Plan Christmas

Parenting is hard and it is easy to get frustrated over the things we face every day – especially when we have plans and they get interrupted.

Our default is to control the child, or control the circumstances – but really we will be better parents when we control ourselves.⁠  The more you are in control of yourself as a mother, the more successful you’ll feel as a mother.

I have said it many times – parenting is not about what our children do, but it is about what we do next. And the question is – will you respond in a way that is true to your values, or will you lose it?

And if, as Christians, we believe in love, mercy, and grace (coming from God to us) then we believe that when we make wrong choices as a parent, we can continue to walk in his love, mercy, and grace – and that means forgiveness and the strength to grow and change – so keep that in mind as things get busy in the next few weeks.

Two character traits that are so central to responding well as a parent are availability and awareness. These work together for us to be fully present and engaged both physically and emotionally with what is going on in our family. ⁠

And yet it is a challenge that’s for sure. So much to do – so many distractions – so much tiredness – and so little time. ⁠

But it is up to us. If we want to respond to our kids in ways that are consistent with our values – we need to control how we respond.⁠

Being Present with Our Kids

Awareness and Availability are two key character traits for parenting and I plan to dig deeper into these two character traits and how they help a mum in all we do next year but let’s think about how they can help us right now as Christmas is just around the corner.

Let’s define these character traits so we know what we are talking about:

Awareness: Knowing what is happening around us and how that is affecting people
Availability: Being ready to be involved

The conflict comes when we have our agenda for the day, and our children (or maybe other people) have their needs and there is a conflict. We get pulled in different directions and we have to choose – what do we focus on? Sometimes our choice is subconscious and we keep focusing on the project in front of us and our children’s voices and behaviour fade into the background – until something happens and yanks us back to dealing with their needs.

As we prepare for our family celebrations around Christmas this happens even more as we have extra projects and activities on our mind. Here are a few key ideas to think about to help you be present at this time of the year:

{first up} Being present doesn’t mean you are always fully focused on your kids. They need to be able to play on their own, solve problems on their own (as is age-appropriate), and have patience and awareness of others to know that the world doesn’t revolve around them.  So the idea of being fully present doesn’t mean you are solely focused on your child (all day, until they are in bed), but rather you know the priority for this moment, and you are focused on that priority – in that moment.

 

{2nd idea} Having a family routine (or flexible plan for the day) means there is time for everyone’s needs to be met – yes interruptions and the unexpected will still happen so a flexible plan is the key. When you make a flexible plan you know who is doing what when so you can optimise everyone’s time making sure the important things happen for each person.  A flexible plan also means you can tweak things when those interruptions happen and still focus on what is important. Being present means we should be able to get things done, it doesn’t mean we just do whatever – we can be intentional with our time and energy and still be fully present in the moment.

 


{3rd}Be realistic about the extra projects and activities you take on. We all have this list (either on paper or in our head) of things we want to happen for Christmas. When are you going to do them? What has to be dropped to make time for them to happen? We can’t keep squeezing in activities to an already full week. Something has to give – and when we consider our time and energies and make an intentional plan we become less frazzled because we are more prepared and less will take us by surprise (not completely, but still, less). 

So be realistic about the plans and projects you take on.  You have to fit them in around the important things already in your life, instead of fitting those important things around these extra projects and activities.

 

{4th} Make sure you are caring for your wellbeing

And I want to add one more thing to consider that will help you be fully present – and that is self-care. As mothers we carefully make sure our children get enough sleep, have time with their friends, have a safe place to feel all the things, have time to connect with God, and so forth. It’s what we do as mothers (and as fathers). 

The reason we do these things for our kids is that they are not yet in full control of their life – they need either to learn how important these things are or they need our help in making that happen. We are not in the same situation. There is no one to help arrange for us to get enough sleep, eat the right food, spend time with God and friends, etc… We are adults and we need to do that for ourselves – it is our responsibility as we live an adult life! So you may not get to the nail salon, or get that massage you’d love – it isn’t about ‘escaping the kids’ it is about doing what you need to do to do life well. There are seasons where you may have to do this with the kids in the house.

And that is possible – you can teach your kids to play for 30 minutes by themselves, and then set aside the time for you to pause and rest – the more you do it, the easier it will be.  What I really mean is do it every day – and it will become easier both for you and your children. 

It is important – you need to keep yourself refreshed so you are ready to do the things that your family needs. If this idea raises questions for you and you really don’t know how to do it – we can talk over email so you can get this type of recharge happening in your day.  Use this link to email me as  I’m more than happy to email back and forth as you get this idea of self-care into your days.

 

So just to recap: 

to be present at this time of the year (or any time really)  you need to:
* Have the right understanding of what being present means
* Manage your time
* Be realistic in what you plan
* Look after yourself so you can do life well.

 

Heart-focused Action Step

Let’s just revisit what it means to be present.  

To be present means you are aware of the spiritual, emotional, physical, social activity going on around you.  You aren’t distracted, you are aware.  

It also means you are available to be involved in the spiritual, emotional, physical or social activities going on around you (as needed). It means you have the spiritual, emotional, physical, and social energy to give to others – and in a parenting context that means to give to your children. 

 

Create Lasting Memories

As a heart-focused parent, our children’s well-being both physically and internally is our priority.

So as you make plans for the end of the year whoo-ha and all things Christmas – just check with yourself that you are aware and available to your kids’ needs.  Don’t let your to-do list distract you or consume you.

We tell ourselves that activities are what make memories – but they are only the backdrop.  The real thing that makes lasting memories for our kids is our presence.  We have to own up to our own choices – are we choosing to be distracted and distant or are we going to choose to be present – to be aware and available to our kids, who are our priority!

The choice is ours, and like I said, there is forgiveness when we stuff up and a reset that God’s grace gives us.  I am reminded of that verse that says – His Mercies are new every morning. 

Because of the loving devotion of the LORD we are not consumed,

for His mercies never fail.

They are new every morning;

great is Your faithfulness!

“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,

“therefore I will hope in Him.”

Lamentations 3: 22-24  

I always reckon that God is big enough, powerful enough, loves me enough to make his mercies new every moment.  I don’t really have to wait for the new day!  So as we go through our day as a mum, when we get distracted, when we don’t respond with kindness, then God’s mercies never fail.  He is faithful – He will love you, forgive you, and strengthen you to grow and respond in the ways that show your children your love – which reflects His love. 

Free Email Course

Read more about this course here

0 Comments

Let me know your thoughts...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Follow on Social Media:

 

The download link is on it's way.

Individual Education Planning Worksheets - brainstorming every area of your child's life.

Get your Planning Worksheets

I will email you the download link so you can start looking at all the different spheres of your child's life before you make any curriculum choices. 

The download link is on it's way.

An Alternative to Chocolate

An Alternative to Chocolate

Not that I have anything against chocolate - but these jelly beans can help your kids share the message of Jesus, his love, death and resurrection at Easter time.  

The download link is on it's way.

Parent Guide: How to make your Family Bible Study Really Work

Family Bible Study is Tricky with all the Different Ages

 

But there is a way to make this a rich learning and bonding family time.  This Guide includes tips, planning worksheet, and discussion prompts.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download yourCharacter Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download your Character Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

The download link is on it's way.

Download your Cheat Sheet

 

A quick reference to help you discern between a heart attitude and a lack of skill for when your child loses it!

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on its way.

Make God your First Response

Print out this parenting reminder to call out to God in the middle of the moment.

I'm excited to share this download with you. Watch your inbox.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

 

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Our children hear different words when we react to when we respond. Do your children hear blah blah blah when you correct them? Includes a parenting poster.

Download Parenting Poster

 

When we Respond instead of React we find a way to deal with the heart not just behaviour.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Character Lesson Guide

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

When family relationships get tense - look for the niggles.

Heart Focused Parenting Resource for the Intentional Parent

 

Your download will arrive in your inbox shortly. 

Print it out and use to teach the hearts of your kids.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Free Email Course

Daily emails  (6 days) to help you walk towards being a heart focused homeschool family!

You have joined the email course. Watch your email inbox!

Find ways to Re-engage your Student

Download this checklist and stir your child's curiosity

Watch your Inbox - the Checklist is on it's way!

FREE Parenting Worksheet

This worksheet will help you move from addressing behaviour to really parenting the heart, one issue at a time.

 

 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Personal growth starts with an honest assessment

The download link is on it's way. Please check your email.

Give Effective Consequences

Think before you React

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

 

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

One Another Verses

Be Intentional in the Teen Years

Use this Cheat Sheet to remind you of how you can love your teen.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

#14 Heart Booster from Resource Library

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Download your copy

Download your copy

Blending Life and Lessons - and start your journey of changing your thinking about education.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Download: One Another Verses pdf

Download this list of One Another verses and teach your children how to love others.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Raising Kids with Character

ATTEND LIVE : FREE PARENTING WORKSHOP

A bonus for Heart Booster readers:  Learn how to teach character to your kids so that they can live their lives making values-based choices.

 

Live Session:  5th May 2021, 6.30pm AWST

Replay available until 16th May 2021

 

I'm so excited about this workshop - thanks for joining me!

Raising Kids with Character

REPLAY OPTION : FREE PARENTING WORKSHOP

A bonus for Heart Booster readers:  Learn how to teach character to your kids so that they can live their lives making values-based choices.

 

Replay available from 6th May until 16th May 2021

 

I'm so excited about this workshop - thanks for joining me!

Raising Kids with Character

WAITLIST

 

The Raising Kids with Character parenting workshop will be offered again this year - details yet to be confirmed.  Join the waitlist so you don't miss out. 

I will keep in you in the loop as soon as decisions have been made!

Bonus Reading list

 

Sharing my Homeschool Belief File

Knowing what you believe and why about education and homeschooling helps you make good decisions.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Build your Family Routine
Starter Kit:

Assess and Plan how to use your time wisely with this worksheet bundle.

Instant download, and then join the Heart Boost Weekly, by confirming in your email.

Success! An email link is being sent to you!

Success! An email is on it's way!

Free email course

... delivered to your email inbox

Success! An email is on it's way!

Download: Family Devotional Activities (PDF)

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Download:Workshop Resource

This is a digital product. Download and print - but please don't share. 

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

#21 Heart Booster from Resource Library

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Free email course

... delivered to your email inbox

Success! An email is on it's way!

FreePrintable Posters

... delivered to your email inbox

Success! An email is on it's way!

Success! An email is on it's way!