One-on-one: Spending quality time with your child
We are all busy. It is the reality we live in; we are all running around, checking the clock and wishing for 25 hours in a day. If you have children, this feeling is magnified. You not only have your own schedule to manage, but also your children’s.
While we can’t change the busy world we live in, we do have a challenge for you – stop multitasking and give your child your attention – your full attention. If you have multiple children, we are challenging you to spend one-on-one time with each of your children.
Benefits of one-on-one time
If you think about your own life experiences and relationships, we are sure some of your most treasured memories are of times you spent connecting one-on-one with someone. Well there is a good reason for that. One-on-one time has relationship building benefits including:
- Deepened empathy: When we spend more time with our children, we begin to feel what they feel. This is an amazing thing when your child is happy. It is great to share in their excitement. When your child is upset, it may not feel good, but it is good to empathize with your child. Your child will notice this closeness and be calmed by knowing someone understands them and their feelings.
- You appear available: When you make sure to make time for one-on-one bonding your children see you as an open and available parent versus one who is too busy to talk to them. This is especially important for teens and tweens. As kids grow older, they run into more issues – puberty, peer pressure, crushes – and you want them to come to you to talk about these things. They are going to talk to someone, but you want to know what they are up to and give them advice that is in line with your family’s values. If you are constantly on your phone or surrounded by the whole family, no teen is going to want to bring up their struggles.
Ideas for spending quality time with your children
The above benefits are ones most parents would be willing to pay a lot to have; seriously, what parent doesn’t want a stronger relationship with their children?! But the good news is that quality time with your child can be inexpensive or free. Here are a few ideas:
- Chat with each child before bedtime.
- Plan a date. This can be as simple as having a picnic in the park or as dramatic as having a spa day before a nice dinner.
- Run errands together. The time in the car or waiting in line at grocery store is perfect for chatting and catching up.
- Play their games. Each of your children is different and has different interests, so take interest in something each of your children enjoys.
- Exercise together. This works great for older kids who may be in sports or just becoming more body conscious.
Whenever you are feeling like you just can’t fit quality time into your schedule remember that the days may be long, but the years are short. Don’t miss out on the magical moments that happen everyday; you will regret being “too busy” to spend quality time with your children and to cherish what is really important in life.
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