Let’s face it, life is busy! Between work and life responsibilities, it might seem almost impossible to etch some time into your schedule to simply bond with your children. It might be discouraging to see our days pass us in the blink of an eye, and you might even start to feel guilty about it. Children need high-quality time with parents, however, it isn’t about endless hours of time – it’s about how you choose to spend that time that truly matters. As parents, we can make choices to ensure time spent with our children is high quality. Here are just 4 tips for busy families:
Have a daily “connect” time
Have a check-in with your children at the end of every day, and try to make it so you are face-to-face. Simply setting a time after they arrive from school or over dinner works just fine. Not sure what to ask or how to start the conversation? Simply asking how their day went, if something exciting happened, or if they learned anything at school are great conversation starters to name a few.
Cook dinner or bake together
Sure, cooking dinner or baking can feel like a chore to you, but to your children, it can surprisingly turn into a very special moment. Sometimes it may seem easier to just do it yourself, I know. But if you work together your kids will learn lots of useful life skills in addition to getting that extra bonding time with you!
Don’t seem to have even a moment to spare? Are you busy until really late at night? Don’t worry, you can still let your children know that you care. How? Write notes and drop them into their lunch boxes! This can be referred to as “phantom time. It’s simply letting your children know you care even when you aren’t close. Another idea would be to record a short video for them to see first thing in the morning. Be creative here!
If you’ve already made time to have dinner with your kids, why not spend another 30 minutes going on a walk with them after dinner? Once the table is cleared and the dishes are washed, go for a walk around your neighborhood. Talk about your day, what you observe around you, and bring up any difficult topics or problems they are currently facing. Since they will be focused on the walk, it will make these difficult topics easier to talk about!
Spending time with your children gives them the opportunity to bond with you, learn from you, and feel heard. Most importantly, it provides you and your children with time to connect and create an even stronger bond. So, we highly encourage you to leave the endless to-do list on the table and put the coffee down to spend some time with your children. When you look back, you will be thankful for the memories you created together during the moments you put in the effort to bond!