We know being a parent is hard, you’ve got to juggle having a job, looking after the house, cooking dinner and making sure you see your friends and family. Not to mention being solely responsible for bringing up your kids in the ‘right way’ so they’ll be functioning members of society who don’t throw a tantrum when someone says no!
While it’s lovely to spend time as a family, it’s also imperative that you spend time with your children one on one. For example, while dad spends time with the older kids you can spend time with your youngest, helping them make fairy cakes, reading stories together or taking them to the local park to play on the jungle gym. What this means is that by switching over every so often each child is getting quality time with both parents, try to do a one-on-one session once a month if possible as kids really love having their parents to themselves. For instance, marking ‘mommy and me’ sessions on the calendar will show children that they’re a big priority in your lives.
Let Them Help
Sadly, lots of kids get used to their mum or dad being a ‘phantom parent’ i.e. they’ll show up to the important stuff like parent/teacher conferences but always end up missing a swim meet. The thing is, quality time doesn’t have to mean expensive outings, in fact, children actually love helping out with mundane tasks like helping you make dinner, going grocery shopping, taking the dog for a walk or mailing letters. See, it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing as long as you’re doing it together! Things may take a little more time but letting your kids help you fold, and put away the laundry reassures them that A) when mummy says she’s busy she’s not just reading a magazine. B) it helps them realise just how much time and effort goes into keeping the house tidy, and they’ll feel ridiculously proud that they helped accomplish a task.
As much as we want to, we just can’t take the day off work to go and spend Wednesday afternoon bouncing around on trampolines or planning other Fun Family Activities! Still, there are other ways to let you know your kids that you love and care about them. Why not rely on old school tech to show them you’re thinking of them by putting a loving note in their lunch box? It’ll have much more of an impact than a throwaway text message, or worse a couple of heart-shaped emoji’s. Yes, they might be a little embarrassed to start with, but in a survey kids said it was one of their favourite things their mum did for them.
Take A Break
We know everyone’s busy, but even the busiest parents deserve a break now and again! Even if it’s just fifteen minutes to kick a ball around with your son, or listen to your daughter practice her flute it’s better than nothing at all. Younger children might benefit from a timer that shows when ‘break time’ starts and finishes so they’ll know not to bother you unless in an emergency.