How To Spend Quality Time With Your Kids
Let’s face the fact that life is demanding and will always find ways to keep us busy. Between juggling work and life’s many responsibilities, we find that even if we had 36 hours in a day, it may not be enough. In the midst of all this, many parents worry that they are not spending enough time with their kids.
Arranging for carpools, after-school activities, managing homework, bedtime etc., along with juggling your job and other realities of adulthood, leaves you drained and with just enough energy to get to bed, and rinse and repeat the next day.
Stumbling across social media posts of other parents indulging their children with trips to the zoo or other fun activities only makes parents feel more inadequate.
Yet the years pass by in a flash, and soon your toddler will be an adult ready to fly the coop, so to speak. Every day brings opportunities for growth, milestones and experiences to fascinate your child. Unfortunately, the challenges of juggling the many demands of adult life prevent us from appreciating the delightful nuances of childhood.
The bottom line is your children need meaningful time with you. When you add up all the time your kids spend in school, with friends or otherwise occupied with activities that don’t include you, the remaining moments are especially precious. As they grow older, the time spent with them will be particularly scarce, so as a parent, strive to make the most of it now. Showering positive attention on your child can prevent behavioural problems in the future, along with offering other advantages.
Instead of worrying about how much time you spend each day with your children, focus on making that time meaningful and well spent. Prioritise quality over quantity, and this can happen anywhere – an afternoon at the movies, dinner at your child’s favourite restaurant, or even at a supermarket checkout counter. The truth is quality time can be snatched anywhere and may occur when you least expect it.
Instead of worrying about your physical presence, make sure you are mentally present when in your child’s company – keeping away your phone or any electronic gadget when in your child’s presence will make them feel valued and loved.
In some cases, with busy families, there would be a need to schedule some one-on-one time. With busy or structured days, it is best to identify the least preoccupied time to spend with your child.
Plan the schedule around them and their biological clocks. Some individual attention right after school would work, as there would be fewer distractions. If a schedule for spending time sounds rigid, work on spontaneous interactions to give it a more natural feel.
The key is ensuring all interactions are positive and healthy. If your children are reluctant to share their time with you, compelling them serves no purpose. Let them agree to spending time with you on their own terms.
When older kids are around, time well spent may mean talking about their day, any issues with their peers, or discussing topics you both enjoy.
Be sure to give the kids a voice in where they would like to go or what they would like to do when spending time together. Whatever the activity, strive to ensure that it is enjoyable for both of you. The main aim is to nurture and maintain healthy familial bonds.
Do be aware that not every day with your kids will be picture-perfect. Still, hopefully, when the day comes for them to depart, you will experience a profound sense of satisfaction that you have shared what they need to know to succeed and that your parenting has been effective.