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7 Tips to Spend More Quality Time with Your Child
How often do we, as moms, get so busy and wrapped up in life that we may accidentally forget to spend some quality time with our kids?
I’m going to guess that you may feel a little bit of mom guilt right about now, and that’s alright. It’s a reminder that you have kids and love them and want the best for them. And, realizing that you’ve been too busy to feel like the best mom ever, doesn’t mean that you aren’t.
Sometimes we just need the reminder to slow down a little in life and remember why we had our kids to begin with. And no, it wasn’t to be the referee when our little ones fight, or feel like we’re a taxi driver when they’re teenagers and can’t drive yet.
And, I’m sure your reason may slightly differ than mine and everyone elses. But, at some point we do get the gentle reminder, usually through mom guilt, that we need to start spending some more quality time with our children.
In case you’re unsure how to squeeze this into your already hectic day, I’ve gathered seven pretty simple ideas that you could start implementing in your everyday life, right now!
I’ve gathered even more ideas and activities to do with your children based on their age (ages 3 to 12) in a printable available in my printable library! If you need ideas for toddlers, check out this post from thinkbaby.org for 10 fun activities to do with toddlers.
Include yourself in their bedtime routine
One easy way to squeeze in some quality time with your children, starting tonight, is by including yourself in their bedtime routine, if you haven’t already. And, if your kids don’t quite have a bedtime routine yet, what better time to start one than right now!
A bedtime routine can be as simple as having your children get in their pj’s, brush their teeth, and then you read them a story and give them a hug and kiss goodnight.
It doesn’t have to be difficult or involve singing them a song, or anything like that. A simple routine will be enough for the both of you to feel just a little more connected.
And, the simple bedtime routine I mentioned is the one I use for my five year old. Every night it’s the same story, as well. We actually both have the book memorized. I read her My Goodnight Book, it’s the same exact book that my mom read to me before bed when I was little.
Eat Meals at the Table with Them
You may not realize it, but kids pay attention to even the smallest of things. Like, if you actually sit down at the table with them to eat breakfast or lunch (you know, instead of cleaning up from making lunch or doing something else while eating), they’ll actually notice.
You can take this ‘extra’ time with them to actually talk with them (no phones at the table).
Ask them how their day is going or what they would like to do today or tomorrow. Find out if anything is on their mind or bugging them. Or simply be with them. If they’re too small to talk then you should probably be sitting with them anyways. It’s a good habit to get into.
If the only meal you’re able to sit down at the table with them is dinner, that’s fine. Take advantage of that time. Make it fun; maybe themed dinners for each night of the week, or let them help you make dinner once a week on a certain day.
Or, if they’re old enough to make dinner themselves; assign each person in the household a night or two a week where it’s their turn to make dinner. Then everyone sits down together to enjoy it. Maybe I’m just fantasizing of what I hope for the future for my girls and family; but wouldn’t that be nice?
Put Your Phone Down
Seriously, when you are in the same room as your children, put your phone down, or in another room if you need to. You may be amazed at how much extra quality time you have to spend with your kids if you do this!
Smart phones are like the death to real social interaction, sadly, sometimes even with our children. Don’t let it happen to you. Your phone, those messages on Facebook and pictures on Instagram; they’ll still be there when your kids go down for a nap, to bed for the night, or when they go to school.
While you have the chance to be with your children; actually be with them fully. Be present, not with your face in your phone trying to see what the newest thing is or getting into drama. No one needs that in their lives. And, you’re children will thank you for spending more quality time with them!
(Even if it’s not so clear that they’re thankful; children need to be taught how to be thankful and show gratitude. How are they to learn if you spend more time with your face in your phone than showing them how to act, behave, and communicate efficiently?)
Let Them Help You
Whether it’s helping you cook, bake, or clean up; your kids will think this is great time spent with you and will love every minute of it! Especially when they’re little.
So, even if you may not think of making food or cleaning as quality time, they will. They are with you, after all! Plus, it’s teaching them some valuable lessons that they will keep with them in life, forever.
So, it’s a win-win, especially now that housework and cooking can be a shared family chore, instead of all being put on your shoulders to do.
Schedule in 10-15 Minutes a Day (Per Child)
Scheduling in quality time to play with each child by themselves will not only help you find the time to spend with them; but, it’ll also make your child feel super important. And, let’s face it, our children are super important to us, so show them they are by doing this!
Now, what you do in that 15 minutes doesn’t really matter all that much, as long as you are paying 100% of your attention to your child.
You could go for a walk, play a game, paint each others nails, have a dance party, or pretty much anything else you can think of that your child would want to do. This time is for both of you, but they’re only kids once, and doesn’t get much say in what they do for most of the day; so, let them choose what you both do, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.
Take Them Outside to Play
Or, better yet, to a playground! Just spend time outside together (away from screens indoors). It will feel much more like quality time, to both you and them!
Play tag, or simply take a walk. Or, let them run around and get all their energy out while you watch. (Make sure you have water close by.) Maybe, they’ll even take a nap afterwards!
Plan a Fun Activity For Them
This can be as simple as letting them color in coloring books. But, when I do this, I like to make it something super special. Which is usually easier done in the fall or holiday months at the end of the year.
For example, making fall wreaths out of painted puzzle pieces or ornaments for Christmas are great ideas for this! But, you could also have them do fun crafts anytime of the year. Maybe you’ll teach them how frogs or butterflies go through metamorphosis and they’ll do a craft based on that.
Or, as messy as it can be, let them paint.
My mom ran a home daycare when I was young and let the younger kids paint the deck with water. This was great in so many different ways. Lily from craftlearnandplay.com understands the many benefits this activity has, check out her post on it here.
It got the kids outside. It also let them ‘paint’ without actually leaving a mark on the deck. You could even do this with your kids to make it feel more like quality time with them.
One Day at a Time
Spending quality time with our children doesn’t have to be a challenge, or even take up too much time. Even simply putting our phones away so we can focus on our kids, instead of seeing what’s new on Facebook, will help you and your child feel more connected through out the day.
I can’t say that I’m perfect with doing each one of these things every single day, that could get exhausting to do, especially with the fun activity every single day. But, I do try my best to implement most of them.
No one’s perfect. And it’s hard to be the super mom you want to be in such a busy world, every day.
So, just take it one day, and one idea, at a time. You and your children will look back and cherish these moments forever.
…You know, the ones you spent focusing on them, not on your phone.
How to be a SUPER MOM!!!
Why I’m NOT a Bad Mom (even though my 5 year old drank my coffee)
The Best Action You can Take If You Want an Easier Life as a Parent!
Don’t forget to sign up for a FREE 5 Day Email Challenge to Connect with Your Child this Summer!