As a stay at home mom turned work from home mom, I understand how difficult it can be to make time for your kids. But, your children will appreciate you giving your time to them.
For me, the last few months of 2020 was a blur. I was taking a certification class in an effort to move my career forward, working a part time job, and started doing additional freelance work related to the certification I would be receiving.
Trying to keep up with the house, kids, and holiday obligations on top of all that became too much to handle.
I was going crazy trying to get it all done and became extremely snippy!
I had bitten off more than I could chew, but apparently the universe had a plan for me.
At the end of December, my part-time position was phased out and just in time for me to take a vacation from all the stress that had been building over the last couple months. And although the financial setback was stressful, I welcomed the time to release stress and begin to re-focus on my family.
This year, it’s my aim to make more time for my kids and to do so more deliberately and to be more present.
I intend for this to be a short series of posts so that maybe you will be inspired to become a more present parent for your children, too.
Are You Ready to Make Time for Your Child?
Spending quality time with your child has more to do with ordinary daily life than fancy parties, complicated Pinterest crafts, or spending a load of money. Simple and meaningful interactions, like bedtime stories and family dinners, are essential for your child’s development and future relationships.
As a parent, you’re preparing them for academic success and rewarding careers. You’re also helping to set the patterns for their adult friendships and romantic relationships.
Even if you feel like you’re short on time and juggling multiple responsibilities at home or the office (as most of us are these days), there are many opportunities to incorporate quality time into your daily routines. Start with these practical ideas.
Follow These Rules to Make Time for Your Kids
Kids will always “love” for you to spend massive amounts of money visiting theme parks, buying crap they don’t need, or filling their bellies with junk food. But, this type of attention can be a temporary fix for many. Most kids won’t remember the junk or the toys.
Instead, people remember activities, adventures, and memories. In fact, “People who have fond memories of childhood, specifically their relationships with their parents, tend to have better health, less depression and fewer chronic illnesses as older adults, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.”
That’s a pretty powerful statement that should have you itching to make time for your child!
So, don’t just make time for your kids, follow these rules to create quality time for them:
Do you feel a little guilty when you see Facebook posts from parents who take their children on exotic vacations or treat them to expensive hobbies? Instead of making comparisons, it’s more constructive to focus on activities that suit your family budget and lifestyle.
While you’re at it, check out how deleting your Facebook app from your phone will make you a better, happier parent!
Let your child know how much you care about them. Listen closely to what they have to say. When you’re together, try to be fully present instead of looking at your phone or thinking about your to-do list.
As a part-time work from home mom trying to build a career, I completely understand just how difficult this can be. Technology has allowed us to be reached at all hours of the day and distracts us with notifications from every angle!
As much as technology can be good for us, it’s also preventing us from fully connecting with the people sitting right next to us.
As you learn to set boundaries, it becomes easier and easier to break away from the technological “shackles.”
Give your child plenty of praise and positive reinforcement. Congratulate them when they bring their grades up in a subject that has been difficult for them. Thank them for being patient with their younger siblings or for setting the table without being asked.
If you find that you’re having to constantly nag your children to do their chores, consider a chore chart and make it a rule that daily chores must be done in order to access electronics or other distracting activities.
Having a schedule and expectations in place will make it easier to make time for your kids without using it to nag at them.
Discover Their Interests
Find out what your child likes to do, so you can participate too. You may both enjoy playing video games or listening to bluegrass music.
If you know what your children are interested in, you can be an encouraging partner in their developments. This will make it easier to make time for your kids that will also be enjoyable.
Remember that your child’s needs will change over time. As they grow from a toddler into a teen, they expect more independence, but they’ll probably still welcome an invitation to practice driving or watch a favorite sport.
As with everything in parenting, as soon as you get a routine figured out, it will likely need to be changed. Don’t stress it, rather embrace every change as an opportunity to learn something new about your child and yourself.
Quality time can happen anywhere. You’re bound to find promising opportunities as long as you make yourself accessible. Even a simple trip to the grocery store together can become a fun moment.
Practical Examples of Quality Time
Although there are tons of ways to spend quality time with your kids, here are a few simple ways to make time for them regularly:
Eat Family Meals
Dine together as often as possible. If you run into frequent conflicts with weekday dinners, try gathering for breakfast or catching up on weekends.
There’s something to be said for the old school tradition of sitting down to the dinner table as a family. The Family and Children’s Center details the importance of family mealtime, which I recommend reading.
Ask your children to join you when you’re shopping for groceries or painting the garage. You’ll have a chance to talk, and they’ll learn valuable life skills which is just one of the many reasons kids should have chores.
Schedule One-On-One Time
Arrange to spend some individual time with each of your children on a regular basis. You’ll learn more about them and enjoy meaningful conversations that you would otherwise miss.
Family vacations and driving to soccer practice both provide time to talk while you’re on your way to your destination. Check in with each other and let the conversation flow naturally.
Volunteer as a Family
Helping others can draw you closer to your children. Support a cause you both care about or browse online for a local volunteer clearinghouse where you can explore your options. Check out this article about how to volunteer with children.
Face to face communications are the most significant but sharing pictures can help you stay in touch too. Send each other funny or moving images you come across during your day. Build an album you can look through together.
Even if you work outside the home and see your child for only a few hours most days, quality time pays off as long as you’re consistent. Make it a habit to chat for about 15 minutes when you arrive home or before you go to bed.
Make time for your child, focusing on quality, in order to build a positive relationship with your child and give them a solid foundation for becoming a happy and productive adult. Savor the moments you spend together and create memories you both will cherish.
Ready for the best news about all these tips?
You can pretty much utilize them for creating quality time for any important person in your life!
Quality Time with Family Series
This is part 4 in the series about family and quality time! Here’s what we have:
- Parents, Make Time for Your Kids (THIS POST)
- Get Rid of Facebook (Be a Better, Happier Parent)
- Maximize Time With your Family
- Ways to Spend Quality Time With Family