Tue | Jun 18, 2019

Five ways to improve quality time with your kids

Published:Sunday | April 14, 2019 | 12:08 AMLatara Boodie - Gleaner Writer

The truth is, the realities of adulthood are notably overwhelming, and managing our own time as well as our children’s is an exhausting balancing act. From coordinating car pools, packing lunch bags, scheduling after-school activities, dinner, homework, bath time, bedtime, on top of your own job (or jobs), you are left with just enough energy to drag yourself to bed so you can wake early and start the routine all over again.

Each day with young kids feels like a week, each week like a month. Yet, as every birthday passes, the years seem to be streaking by at warp speed. Five months old become five years old in the blink of an eye, and then 15 years old. This inexorable march of time that turns babies into big kids is the ‘other’ biological clock facing young couples. Every day brings new growth, new milestones, and new wonderment, but the challenges of juggling our adult lives often prevent us from fully appreciating the delicate nuances of childhood.

There are numerous parenting methods employed by young couples worldwide; however, there is one singular truth that applies to all parenting philosophies. Children need to spend meaningful time with you and learn about you from you. Instead of worrying about the amount of time you get to spend with your child, try focusing on making each minute count.

Here are five easy ways to give each moment with your child more meaning.

 

1 Include them in meal preparations

Children more appreciate being able to create things for themselves, or help out with a project. Encourage their helpfulness by allowing them to assist in the preparation of family meals. It might take a little longer, but the time and memories created here will be worth it.

 

2 Do not drive everywhere

The convenience of driving everywhere and reducing transportation time deprives us of using those moments to bond with our children. Sometimes taking a walk or riding a bicycle together allows more room for conversations with them. Take a stroll around your community for an opportunity to open that avenue for communication.

3 Play a competitive sport

Nothing beats the camaraderie gained from playing a competitive sport. This will not only allow you to both focus on each other, but provide valuable lessons for your children on how to compete and interact with others.

 

4 Engage in their favourite activity

Whether it is reading, ‘busting’ the latest dance moves, listening to the music they are currently into or playing video games, being able to get into their comfort zone and communicate with them on their level will make you appear open and inviting to your children.

 

5 Be present, be focused

It is easy to go into autopilot when you are around your children. As a parent, multitasking becomes second nature; however, it detracts from the time spent with them. Being able to shut off from the hectic outside world and focus on your pride and joy is crucial.

latara.boodie@gleanerjm.com