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I cannot possibly stress it enough. I keep sharing in all my blogs the importance of spending some amount of time in the day with your child. Because I’ve seen, observed around, as well as experienced myself how such a simple activity has the power to turn things around (both when you do it and don’t).
Now, the amount of time isn’t always the hitch (knowing that parents have limited time at hand). It’s the quality of time that matters the most. And this has become a huge challenge for nearly all of us in these testing (read COVID) times.
Parents working from home, homeschooling kids, working extra household chores that have added up with extra members being at home for most part of the day. Oh yes, not to forget, all the extra stress that the new situation has brought in.
Where is the time to spend with kids, you’d ask. Totally understand. But again, as I always say, it may seem difficult but it’s never impossible. So today I’ll be sharing with you at least 8 super-easy ways of spending time with your kids (any age) that could help you get started and restrengthen your bond even in these tough times.
8 Simple Ways You Can Spend Good Quality Time with Your Kids
1. Involve them in your busy mornings
Morning time has always been busy for moms in particular. And not much seems to have changed in the current times. Yes, not many husbands are leaving for work in the morning, nor do we need to go to work perhaps. Plus, the kids are homeschooling too. But the household chores aren’t reducing.
There’s still breakfast to make, dishes to be done, laundry to be washed and folded, cleaning, dusting, and the list goes on. And now with all of this, there are some extra tasks added - overviewing kids’ online classes, helping them out with homework and whatnot.
So, how can you spend quality time with kids? Try letting them participate in your morning routines as a helping hand. It could be anything - making the bed, folding the blankets/sheets, making them do small dishes, dusting the house, whatever.
And trust me, you can do this with a child as small as even 3 years old! Make the tiring, monotonous chore into a fun activity to spend some time with your child. Ask her to do these chores with you. This way, they’d be engaged too. And if the kids are grown up, they can be a real help and you get to enjoy a short talk with them as you both finish the tasks.
2. Craving for fun time? Do it together!
I know I talk about “me time” in my blogs but here’s another fun fact. When your kids and you spend some fun “us time” together at least for some time in the day, both of you feel recharged and this inevitably leads to more productivity and improved time management, all of which gives you the chance to enjoy your [“me time”](/posts/to-do-list-for-moms “Moms Need to Make a “Me Time List” too!").
Try and work out what your kids like to do which you enjoy as well and find the most relaxing and soothing in the midst of a chaotic day. It could be doing yoga or a morning workout before starting a hectic day, listening to or grooving to music during the day as you go about your work, or working in your kitchen garden. It could also be a refreshing evening walk in the park.
Figure out what you like and if any of these interests your kids, make them a part of your stress-busting routine. This way, you don’t have to wait to allot some separate time to them. You know that you enjoy this and it’d automatically happen. In fact, both your kids and you would start looking forward to these moments in the day (almost like a routine).
It May Seem Difficult But It’s Never Impossible!
3. Cook and eat together
If you have a little chef at home, that is to say, your child has interest in helping you out in the kitchen, then you’re in luck! You end up spending the maximum time of your day there and this means your kids can spend that time with you too.
Let them help you out with whatever you’re comfortable in letting them to, and once finished, you can sit together and enjoy your creation. Don’t forget to throw in a few words of appreciation as you eat because that would go a long way in making your child look forward to more such times with you.
4. Play a board game
This one’s my favorite. Each time my kids pester me to play with them, I pick out a board game from their toy shelf. Well, simply because board games are real fun not just for kids but adults as well. It can keep families engaged for hours (well, you can think of that over the weekend perhaps) but even on a normal day, you could time yourself and play a shorter version, say for 30 minutes?
It’s enough to boost your energy and refresh your mind to get back to other work, plus you get to spend time with the kids - a double win!
Tip: Money games are real fun to play with kids. You never get bored of them. And your kids get a chance to learn the basics of money management at an early age.
5. Take a trip down their past together
Look at photo albums, watch their first birthday videos, or make fresh memories - click a selfie together or just a solo pic of your child. Make a short video together. You not only get a chance to relive all those happy moments in the past with your child but even create new ones to again cherish them a few years down the lane.
Love photo created by freepik - www.freepik.com
6. Read out to them before sleep
I know you’re tired. It’s been a long day. And this would sound more fun to the child than to you. But again, it’s not impossible! I’ve been through these challenges myself and so I figured out ways to make this work because I knew that there’s no app better than your lap!
Have an early bedtime routine for the child. Give them an early dinner and make it clear that they need to retire for the night early. Give them a time by which they need to finish their daily routine of brushing or bathing and be tucked into bed.
When they start going to bed early, you’d still have some energy left (physically and mentally) to read out a short story to them or hug and kiss them goodnight. You being with them physically before they sleep, knowing that they wouldn’t see you for 8 hours, means the world to them.
And reading a bedtime story is a great way to bond with them. You can also ask them about ‘how was their day’ and stuff when they’re about to sleep. Talk to them and make them feel heard.
7. Shoot an impromptu quiz
You know how kids love to ask questions all the time? And we sure get bugged, well at least most of the time. That’s because we’re always in the middle of something, sometimes even in the middle of ‘me time’ (haha!)
So, each time they shoot a question at you, instead of shutting them out, shoot one right back at them. You can play it like a fun quiz which puts their mental skills to test and you guys get some time together to talk and reason things out together.
With small kids, it could be very simple stuff. Kids love to flaunt what they know or what they have just learned, before their parents. It’s actually their way of practicing their newly acquired skills. Encourage them by saying, “Okay let’s play a small quiz.” You can even do this while you’re working around in the house.
8. Have a heart-to-heart talk
I’m a strong practitioner as well as promoter of this simple but extremely valuable exercise that we all parents must do with our kids, at least once every day. If that sounds too much, then you can practice this as regularly as you comfortably can, but the idea is that it’s really important my friend.
Why? Kids are little beings with feelings, thoughts, and a voice that’s craving to be heard. You can observe this in your own child or with kids around you. When you “talk” to them - ask they how they are, how’s their day, how are things at school, about their friends, toys, games, TV shows/cartoons/movies that they have watched - you give them that voice and the feeling that they want to be heard.
Plus, it gives you a valuable insight into your child’s mind and life - which can really help you mold their personality, moving forward. And how soon can you start this exercise? With a kid as young as 2 years! Yes, it’s not necessary for the child to be able to talk much or even clearly. You talking to them about their stuff is enough.
And as the child grows older, they’d start talking and sharing things with you, further strengthening that bond over the years. And yes, it’s also the easiest way to spend time with them - even if you don’t have much time to play with them or sit and watch something with them, just talking to them for 10 minutes in a day at a time of your choice is enough to make a difference.
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Spending time with your child is the cheapest and the best investment you can make into building a lifetime bond with your child. Do that today to enjoy a secure future together.
(How do you spend time with your kids? I’d love to learn new ideas from you so please leave a comment below. If you liked the post, please circulate it in your parent network. For more such posts, subscribe to the blog for free.)