How often have you seen a parent walking with a child and looking down at their mobile phone? Have you thought about how this may be a missed opportunity to connect?

When you are with a child, every moment is a chance to connect and our moments seem ever harder to find with parent and child occupied with school, work, play, social media, grabbing a snack, getting where we want to go in a hurry.

But with kids, there is no time like the present. Eye contact is what they crave. It only takes a moment to let a child know you care, by stopping whatever you may be focused on (except when driving!) and looking into their eyes.

This simple task is the most overlooked way to connect with a child. And yet it is the simplest and the quickest. And it has the added benefit of putting you the parent in touch with your parental love.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes we even avoid eye contact with a child because we know instinctively that it will change our focus and reset our priorities in an instant?

It is a lot easier to say no if we avoid eye contact, if we can tell ourselves the child is bothering us, being unreasonable, can wait a minute, or can take care of him or herself.

But what they want most in that moment is to know they are top priority. And a warm look into their eyes can empower them like nothing else to wait, or to find their own amusement, or to solve their own problems.

You may find this simple step can save you all kinds of time talking, consoling, making excuses, fixing problems, and so on. If a child knows they are tops with you, their confidence soars and they feel more capable, independent, and yes happy.

Next time you heave a sigh and wonder how you will ever get everything done if your child wants your attention one more time, give her or him the gift of your direct undivided attention, demonstrated by your warm glance into their eyes. Love doesn’t wait. It is only now. I knew I had to write my first parenting book when its title came into my mind: “You Can Postpone Anything But Love.

And tell me what you think!

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