Do you struggle as a parent to find time to connect with your children? I know I do and with six children it can be hard. And, the older they get the harder it seems to be to make quality time with my children count. Whether it be our crazy schedules or the fact that we are a large family, it can weigh heavily on my motherhood guilt when I feel like my children may not be getting all the attention that they need. Want to know how to spend quality time with your child? The easy answer is MAKE TIME, but the realistic answer is that doesn’t always happen.
Make Quality Time a Priority
In today’s busy world, work, household chores and social activities all put a strain on your time with your child. But as you well know, it’s imperative that you spend quality time together. It helps strengthen the bond between parent and child, and lets your child know you can be trusted and counted on. Children who spend quality time with their parents often do better in school, and excel in extracurricular activities, hobbies or sports. And though it can be ‘scheduled’ to a degree, it’s something that happens when you least expect it. Therefore it’s important that you do spend as much time as possible with your child in a relaxed atmosphere and do things together that you both enjoy.
But you’re asking yourself, “Where am I going to find the time? My schedule’s crazy enough as it is!” Well, for something as important as your child, you need to start digging around in that crazy schedule and find the time. Prioritizing is the key.
How to Spend Quality Time with Your Child
Here’s some helpful suggestions on how to make the most of your time and find quality time where you least expect it.
Look at your household chore list and decide which ones can be left undone or be done imperfectly in order to make more family time. You might also want to consider leaving certain things until after your child has gone to bed to make the most of your time together.
Make It a Part of Your Routine
Turn some of your everyday routines together count. Sing some favorite silly songs on the way to daycare, or make that drive to and from school a great opportunity to discuss what’s happening in your child’s life.
Children thrive on stability and routines, so plan your quality times so that they can take place regularly. Maybe you can walk the dog together on weekend morning, take a shopping excursion together, have a scheduled night each week for a sit-down dinner together, or make a trip to the park.
Chat while you are driving in the car – sometimes that is the only time I get some of my teenagers alone. Not sure what to talk about? Use these conversation starters to get to know each other better.
Work Towards Individual Attention
If you have more than one child, it is important to recognize that each of them needs your individual attention. You may really have to juggle things around to make this happen, but try to be flexible and creative when spending time with each of your kids.
I have to admit, I am really bad at this one and the motherhood guilt weights super heavy with this topic. Most likely it is because we have six children and to schedule individual time is just plain hard. We tried for awhile with the Mom or Dad time alone with each child. I am not kidding when I say we couldn’t keep up with it at all. It took us one year (yes you read that right ONE YEAR) to get through each kid. We try but we need to try harder.
Although we can always do individual time, we absolutely make sure we have family time together. Whether it be camping, playing games, dinner time chat, or other adventures we love making memories together as a family.
Disclaimer: These pages are not intended to provide medical advice or physician/therapist instruction. Information provided should not be used for diagnostic or training purposes. Consult a therapist or physician regarding specific diagnoses or medical advice.