Making the Most of Your Time with Your Kids

family at duck pondI’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s almost impossible for today’s busy young families to keep up with our world’s hectic pace. We live in a world where a nano second is the norm. I know that I get impatient if my internet connection is a bit slower than usual on any given day. Really, Cathie? But that’s the reality of life today.

Spending time with your kids is one of the best ways to make connections, provide them with feelings of security and produce those feel-good endorphins. Family game night, one on one time with a parent, silly play and quiet time are all great ways to be together. Let’s look at each of these suggestions in a little more detail.

  1. Family Game Night is a long-held tradition in some families. In others, the thought might be there but the time never actually comes when it’s convenient to have it. Let’s look at some suggestions on how to make it actually happen.
  • Make Family Game Night a special occasion and build your family’s anticipation by causing a little buzz about it-maybe promise a favorite snack or make this yummy pizza from Eating Well to munch on while playing.
  • Set a time and day for your family’s Game Night and then clear the calendar so nothing interferes.
  • Ban the use of electronics during game time. This holds true for parents, too. Really work on being present with your kids.
  • Have an assortment of games available and rotate turns on choosing what to play.

Before you know it Family Game Night will be a part of your family’s routine and you’ll find yourselves sharing conversation that often doesn’t have time to develop during life’s hectic moments.

  1. One on One Time with a Parent is a win-win for you and your child. Taking the time and effort to spend time with your child is something you will never regret. Here’s a list of ideas you might like to try.
  • Carving out time to spend with one of your children can seem almost impossible until you realize that running errands together or fixing dinner together can be special moments for talking and sharing. The point is you don’t have to plan a movie night out- just grab whatever time presents itself.
  • Once again it’s time to nix the electronics during your time with your child. Even sneaking a peak at a text that just announced itself takes away from the one-on-one experience. Turn off or mute your phone and become fully engaged with your child.
  • Check out the entertainment section of your local newspaper to find kid-friendly opportunities to share with your child. Children’s museums or the public library offer special ways to spend time together and still be able to converse freely as you enjoy the day.
  1. Silly Play is something that is guaranteed to get the endorphins flowing! Laughing is a natural part of childhood and it’s important to remember that there are great benefits to laughter for both children and adults alike.
  • The first thing to do when it comes to silly play is forget all the “should do’s” and the “shouldn’t do’s” and just let your fun side come to the forefront. What do you mean a parent shouldn’t make funny faces while trying on goofy hats? Let your child see your fun side and you’ll both be winners.
  • Squirting or splashing water is a great way to get silly. Pull out the squirt guns or water balloons on a hot summer day and blast away. The sounds of giggling (yours and the kids) will reverberate through the yard and into the neighborhood.
  • Plan a backwards day next weekend. Here are some great suggestions for a successful way to pull it off from Nestle Family. Kids will jump in with great enthusiasm and you’ll end the day with great memories of a fun day spent with your family.
  1. Quiet Time with your child is such an amazing way to gain insight into what is going on in his or her life. Here’s a list of ways to build quiet time into a hectic family life.
  • Once your kiddos are tucked into bed go in and spend some time just visiting about the day. Maybe ask what them was the best part of their day and happily visit about it with your child. Revisiting what was good about the day is a great way to send your child off to dreamland.
  • Working a jigsaw puzzle or coloring in a color book together can be great ways to spend quiet time with your child. It’s a super time to find out what your child’s favorite color is or subtly teach strategies for puzzle solving. Or to just quietly “be” with your child.
  • How about laying on a quilt together in the backyard and gazing at the night sky. Not one word has to be spoken for some great bonding to take place. And as the chill of the evening creeps in, snuggling close only makes the experience more enjoyable!

Well, there you have some of my suggestions for finding more quality time for your family. Try one of the ideas or try all of them and I’m sure you’ll be pleased with the number of endorphins flooding the scene. Here’s to a great week with your family!

Cathie

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