Increasing the Degree of Quality in Your ‘Quality Time’ with Your Kids
No one is going to debate that balancing career and family is a challenge. Even when you make the domestic arts your career, it’s still difficult to balance your own needs with those of your family. Balance in life can be difficult, and this makes the time with your children even more precious. Regardless of your parenting philosophy, children need to spend meaningful time with their parents. They need to see the type of person you are: your values, beliefs, and personalities. And in turn, you’ll learn more about your child. They’re not going to stay children forever, and the key to giving them amazing experiences is to make the moments together count. Here are four tips to increasing the quality in your quality time with your children:
1. Give ‘Hang Out’ Time Some Direction – Structuring every moment of your child’s day, whether it be filled with school, friends or family activities, can be exhausting for everyone. Having the space in a day to hang out together and relax can be precious time for everyone. This downtime doesn’t have to be mindless, though. Instead of sinking into a video game or surfing the internet in individual pursuits, use the quiet time to connect and catch up on what’s going on internally. Does your child have a special interest that you can explore through books? Could your child watch and perhaps assist on a home fix-it project? Simple activities like this can be great conversation starters in addition to teaching values like work ethic.
2. Themes Can Bring Us Together – Many households today are go, go, go during the week. The kids go different directions for school and after-school activities while parents tend to careers and other commitments. If everyone has a hectic schedule it can feel like time together is the anomaly instead of an expected event. One solution is to make coming together an event, and not in the sense of a blowout party to host 500 guests. Game Night is a great example with the guest list extending only to the immediate family. So is Taco Night or Make Your Own Tamale Night… the list of themes is endless. The point is to make it significant, anticipated, and most of all, fun family experiences together.
3. Sweets Aren’t Always a Bad Thing – Obesity in children has been the hot focus for Americans for the last five years. Although we want to keep meals nutritious and teach healthy eating habits, there’s also joy to be found in being a kid with some traditional foods. Making ice cream sundaes, popping popcorn or helping to decorate cupcakes can be wonderful activities for connecting with your child. Measuring ingredients can teach valuable math skills or fractions, and decorating can develop useful hand/eye coordination. It doesn’t hurt that they taste pretty darn good too.
4. Disconnect from Distractions – Something as simple as leaving your smartphone in your purse or turning off your computer can greatly increase the quality of your time with your child. Giving your child 100% of your attention can be a great gift for both of you and will increase the quality of your interactions immediately. Unplug from technological and social media distractions and ‘plug in to’ your children. You’ll both benefit from the renewed focus.
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