Life in a family is busy, and it’s easy to think that everyone is getting the attention they need when in reality the opposite might be true.
Here’s how spending some one-on-one time with your kids can make all the difference.
While it may feel as though you spend lots of time with your kids, the craziness of life can sometimes get in the way of spending individual, one-on-one time with each child. While family time is great, it’s important that each child has a chance to bond with their parents and discover their own unique interests and share them with you.
If parents are working, the time each child shares may be limited to mealtimes, homework time and time battling other siblings for attention. Allowing your children to have one-on-one time with you gives them the opportunity to share and communicate with you without competition. It helps keep bonds close and allows you to understand the changes in their interests and development.
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Ways to spend time with your child one-on-one
Read a book together
Whether at bedtime or another time set aside, spend time together reading. Talk about the story, and spend some time talking before and after the book. Allocating the time regularly each night before bed, or an evening or even a morning during the week is a great way to touch base. Allow your child to pick a book or hang out at the library together.
Work around the house
Find a job or task around the house or yard that you can do together with your child. It may be something like washing the car, tending a vegetable garden or painting a fence. Even something as simple as hanging the washing out or getting it in allows you to chat as you work together.
Time in the kitchen
Children often love to cook. If your child has a favourite meal, get them involved in the cooking process and make the entire meal just about them. Even young children can help with stirring, placing ingredients in a pan or helping to measure.
Schedule an outing
Whether it’s heading to a cafe for babycinos or ice cream and a walk, schedule a regular meeting for you and your child that they will enjoy. While each child is different, give them an opton of what they’d like to do and aim to keep a regular schedule, for example weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Your child will appreciate knowing they have their time coming up where they get to hang out with you with your undivided attention.
Alternate parents taking kids to sports or activities
Taking turns in running children around to their scheduled activities gives you both time to chat to them on the journey to and from, as well as being available for support and encouragement.
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No matter what activities you do together, the goal is to be conscious about the time you spend with each child and ensure that they all feel they have your undivided attention at some point in time on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be fancy or extravagant, just something of interest to you both that you can enjoy together.