As a parent, you can't escape the busy life. No matter what time you force yourself out of bed, regardless of your routine, it will always seem like there are not enough minutes in the day, so you need to make time for the things and people that matter.
Your children benefit from quality time, as does the entire family. Research shows that children who spend more quality time with their parents and siblings are less likely to participate in risky behaviors like drug and alcohol use. The question becomes, what constitutes quality time, and how do you achieve it?
Do a Daily Check-In
Learning about your children is as simple as asking questions. Now, asking questions is not the same as an interrogation. When you ask your little ones about their day, let them lead the conversation.
The best way to get a "real" answer to the typical "How was your day" question is to ask more specifics. Ask your children what they learned in class if they tried something different at lunch, or who they played with during recess.
You encourage dialogue and storytelling by asking more specific and less routine questions. You also show your child that you take an interest in their lives.
Create Special Rituals & Routines
Every family should have unique traditions, rituals, or routines; they make life easier. A typical routine is bedtime. Your child bathes, puts on their PJs, and gets into bed. What can you do to make the practice more unique and special? How can you create lifelong memories from these seemingly ordinary moments?
Many parents create quality moments during bedtime routines by reading stories or singing songs. Inviting the kids into the activity can make bedtime stories more interesting. Ask them what kind of story they want to hear or what the conflict should be. You can even make the adventure up as you go, like in those Choose Your Adventure books. Whatever you do, make it memorable for you and your children.
Have a Family Movie or Game Night
Family movie or game night is an excellent option for spending quality time together. You can take the time to teach your children about games you played as a child or introduce them to your favorite TV shows from when you were younger.
Also, many games require strategic thinking and math skills, so the game night is a way to challenge your children while helping them grow and have fun. Still, only some activities need to be learning opportunities. Sometimes, it is better to relax and be present.
Craft or Cook Together
Many parents struggle to get their children to eat healthily. For the pickiest eaters, parents can supplement nutrition with multivitamins, like Wellements Organic Multivitamin Gummies, but they can also include their kids in the meal planning and cooking.
Allowing your kids a say in what they eat and how it's prepared can benefit the parent-child relationship. Children develop autonomy and responsibility for their health and learn that their parents value their opinions.
Besides cooking, crafting also allows children to develop autonomy and feel supported. Crafting and cooking are excellent options for quality time with the family.
Let Your Kids Pick
If you aren't sure what activity to do with your child, or if everyone is bored with the same routines, consider having a "yes day." On such a day, parents agree to say yes to any activity their child wants.
Saying yes can give children a sense of control they don't usually feel or have. That control can help them become more independent thinkers, possibly contributing to confidence.
As busy as life gets, making time for those who matter most is crucial. Make quality time for your children a priority.