Packed lunches, car pools, extra murals, homework, friends, after-school activities, supper, bedtime. All that on top of your own job (or jobs) it’s a miracle that you even make it through each day, let alone manage to drag yourself to bed each night and get up on time for the next day’s onslaught.
As modern parents we are time poor. We work too hard, spend too much time on our laptops, phones, iPads etc and spend too little time with our kids. This is something that most parents feel guilty about but don’t have the energy to do anything about.
However, the fact is it doesn’t have to be that hard. Your kids need to spend meaningful time with you in order to see who you are and how you live your life. This is how they learn what is important and it will encourage them to open up to you.
Here are a few ways to connect, without shaking up the whole routine:
Many of us will remember bedtime stories when we were kids. It’s the perfect time to wind down and connect with your children. There are so many books out there that will grab their imagination, as well as yours, and give you a chance to float off together on an amazing adventure – all while dressed in PJ’s and lying in bed!
Turn off the TV
Limit TV time. Don’t be scared to turn it off and suggest a board game or a craft. Alternatively foster an environment where it’s natural to spend more time sitting around the dinner table and chatting. If your child is a real TV addict then find something you can watch together and comment on. The Discovery Channel or something educational but interesting is the perfect way to connect.
The heart of every family is eating together. Meal times are so important so set aside a few evenings a week when you can turn off the TV, set the table and sit down to a meal. Ask your kids to help you cook, lay the table or make a salad. When they are younger they love to help and have the responsibility of a little job to do. When they are older you can use it as a time to chat about their day and what’s going on in their lives.
Take the dog for a walk together, or head to the park after work. Those long summer evenings are the perfect time to pull on some flip-flops and head to the swings. This will also help your kids develop a healthy love of being outside, which may well lure them away from hours in front of TV games as they get older.
Take a deep breath and help your kids out with their homework. When they are little it’s fun to watch them learn and develop their basic skills. As they get older you may be surprised at how much they can teach you. Either way, it’s great bonding time.
How do you make time for your children, Beauties?
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