Quality time is an important concern for parents and their kids, affecting traditionally married families and children in divorced families. While you may see your children every day and have limited conversations with them, you may not really be connecting with your children. The pressures of your career, your relationship with your partner or spouse, and other obligations may be keeping you from devoting real time to your children. These tips can help.
Prioritize Your Family
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One reason that your children suffer may have something to do with your work-life balance. While your career is important, it shouldn’t be the only priority in your life. This means leaving work at work. Let your co-workers, supervisors, or colleagues know that you won’t be answering calls, emails, or instant messages after you leave for home. Barring a real emergency, such as a death or fire, you must stick to that rule.
Deal with Your Personal Issues
We all have baggage that we carry with us, but it can sometimes get out of hand and consumer our lives. Finding outside help is often necessary for these situations. For instance, if you’re not spending time with your children because you’re spending your time abusing drugs or alcohol, finding drug detox programs nearby will be critical to fixing the problem. Similarly, mental health issues interfering with parenting should also be addressed through therapy. By discussing your problem with your family and taking time to get the right treatment, you’ll be better able to devote quality time to spend with your kids.
Add Your Kids to Your Schedule
If you maintain a schedule on paper or on your mobile device, be sure to add important dates with your children to your calendar. By making a formal appointment, you’ll be far less likely to miss the school recital or that week’s soccer game. You don’t have to feel foolish about starting this practice, either. Many working parents have started doing this as a way of ensuring they can be present for their children’s important events.
Add Quality to Your Mornings
It may be worthwhile to get your family up an hour early, considering the mornings are often untapped opportunities for quality time. Before eating a nutritious breakfast together, take your kids out for a bicycle ride or a short hike. Getting exercise early in the morning will help everyone be more productive throughout the day, while also providing time for the family to have fun together. This is also a good time to discuss school and find out about any problems your children are having with their schoolwork, other students, or teachers.
Create Family Night and Make It Unbreakable
If you have tried to make extra time for your family and everyone’s schedules seem to make it impossible, start smaller. Set aside one night a week for family night, but be sure everyone will be free on that night. Looking for new things to do each family night will provide more enjoyable experiences, so everyone in the family will look forward to it. While dinner and a movie is one option, also consider activities like attending a concert or musical, going to an amusement park, or playing laser tag. Variety will make this a worthwhile way to spend the evening, while also providing an opportunity to bond as a family.
As this overview indicates, spending quality time with your children is going to require making sacrifices. However, making the time to spend with your children can be an enjoyable diversion that will be as beneficial to you as it is for your child. It will give you a chance to relieve stress, discover new activities, and help you reconnect with your family.