Learn how to connect with your kids after a long day, when parenting feels overwhelming or when you’ve been distracted as a parent! 

My first grade teacher, Mrs. Kingzett, had this quote framed on the wall of her classroom. As the hard-working farm wife and mother of four children and the beloved teacher of hundreds of young boys and girls who passed through her doors during her 40 years of teaching, these words were representative of her passion–to treat children as more important than high esteem, a fancy house or a large bank account.

Fast forward almost thirty years, and today I am striving to embrace the same mindset with my own children.

But in the day to day, I often lose sight of the eternal significance of motherhood–the why behind the what, if you will–and I often find myself distracted by other shiny things:

  • The latest Facebook posts in my news feed
  • A ding on my phone signaling what I see as an important text
  • The many opportunities to push my blog to the “next level” so I can feel admired and respected
  • Beautiful photos and ideas on my Pinterest app, which is so easy to pull up and scroll through
  • That thing I just need to tell a friend, so I’d better call her on the phone right now
  • A favorite TV show I’ve really been waiting to catch up on–now would be the right time if I just distract my kids with the iPad
  • Or just being COMPLETELY exhausted, both mentally and physically and feeling like I don’t have enough energy left for my kids!

I’m thinking you might identify with these things.

If I could just get this done first….

One thing after another pops into your mind and so you do it, and soon you wonder where your day went and why your kids are crabby, pulling on your leg, refusing to nap, and constantly quarreling.

Facebook, Pinterest, blog opportunities, and friends are not inherently bad in and of themselves, of course!

But when we start taking a mental time inventory of our day, we begin to realize WHY our children are acting up and needing us.

Because they have our presence, but we’re not present.

How often does this happen to you?

Whether you are with your children all day long or at work for part of the day and have your evenings at home, the temptation to live separately in the same house with them is very real.

But there is always hope! God has called us to be a mom and can give us joy in this calling! He will give us the strength to change and be purposeful about involving ourselves in our child’s day.

If this is something you’ve struggled with, give yourself grace! His mercies are new every morning.

Starting today, let’s pray together that the Holy Spirit will make us aware of moments that we can take advantage of as we spend time with our blessings.

Let me encourage you with some ideas that you can incorporate right now to connect with your child, instead of being so distracted. 

These are really simple ideas, and you don’t have to do all of them of course! Just grab a couple of ideas that can work for your family and it will become more automatic before you know it!

how to be more present with your child

how to connect with your kids when you've been distracted or at the end of a long day
These 30 ways to be fully present in your child's day can help you as a mom to be intentional about the time you've been given with your children! Encouragement for moms of all stages!

How to Be More Present with Your Kids (Even after a Long Day)

  1. Put the phone in an inconvenient place and commit to not checking it for one full hour. (This one was hard for me! It’s unbelievable what the pull of technology can do to your mind.)
  2. Don’t check the internet after 8 am until naptime/quiet time.
  3. Greet them in the morning with a hug.
  4. Get down to eye level with your kids when they ask you a question.
  5. Learn a Bible verse together. (Here are four ways to teach Scripture to your toddler and A-Z Scriptures you can memorize with your kids!)
  6. Read a favorite book you liked as a child.
  7. Say a prayer with them.
  8. Recognize the power of the “tyranny of the urgent”. Pray that God would help you call to mind what is important, so that you’re not steered off track by the urgent and unimportant.
  9. Teach your child a new song.
  10. Sing the ABCs in different, funny voices and see if they can copy you.
  11. Make a snack together (like this healthy “campfire” snack!)
  12. Set a timer for 15 minutes and just play whatever they want to do (assuming it’s safe!) Ha!
  13. Be like Chick-Fil-A (see photo below), except make it a “technology free” day and reward yourselves with a treat! We have media limits, but technology is sneaky! It’s good to regroup that area of life from time to time.
  14. Play ring around the rosy. Go ahead, just do it. And fall down really hard ;)
  15. Open a recipe book and find a new dish to try sometime that week.
  16. Snuggle on the couch for 10 minutes (admittedly, this may last about 12 seconds with a wiggly toddler–but hey, you tried!)
  17. Ask your child to tell you about the best part of their day.
  18. Eat a meal together.
  19. Tell your kids 7 reasons why you are thankful that they are a part of your family.
  20. Go on a walk.
  21. Go to the library and read or choose books together.
  22. Throw around a ball in the yard or inside in the cold!
  23. Walk or ride bikes to the park (but don’t pull out your phone while you’re there!)
  24. Ask your child to do gymnastics in the living room and applaud wildly
  25. Clean the mirrors and windows in your house together and have fun with it!
  26. Draw a chalk city on your driveway.
  27. Clear the mental clutter. Grab a pen and paper and write down the things that are on your mind, so you can focus in on what your kids are doing instead.
  28. Recognize the power of the “tyranny of the urgent”. Pray that God would help you call to mind what is important, so that you’re not steered off track by the urgent and unimportant.
  29. When you’re nearing the supper hour and everyone’s feeling grouchy, put on some music and dance around. If you feel the kids are too worked up, put on classical music instead!
  30. Look at a family photo album together or a few pictures you have lying around and remember all the sweet times. It’s a good reminder of precious memories made with our families!

chick fil a

These are things we’ve really done and want to continue to be intentional about doing!

Yes, there are crazy days when nothing seems to go the way we plan and everything goes bananas, and that’s life!

Like I always say, progress, not perfection.

What a difference it makes when my husband and I take the time to be truly involved in the things our children care about and want to do. It can make all the difference in the world for you too!

What would you add to this list? How to you find ways to intentionally connect with your children?


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8 Comments on 30 Ways to Reconnect with Your Kids

  1. Life can be so busy and chaotic… It’s important to our children to show true interest in what they say/do. Thank you for the reminder of simple yet impactful ways to connect and bond with the most precious gift God has blessed us with. :)

  2. Many great tips. I find the best way is disconnecting to reconnect- just good old offline conversations.. catching up with everyone. Also being outdoors in nature helps to relax everyone. They will open up.

  3. This is something that I am constantly working on! The pull of the outside world can be rather great sometimes, but my focus right now needs to be on my children and I like the feeling of being present with them at the end of the day. Great ideas!

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