Every parent knows all too well that nagging feeling that there just aren’t enough hours in the day. When you seem to spend all of your time outside work caring for your kids, sometimes just taking care of their daily necessities can seem overwhelming, let alone being able to spend quality time with them. Thankfully, studies are showing that it is the quality of the time, not the quantity that has the bigger impact on a child’s well-being. With this in mind, we’ve come up with 6 quick and easy ways for busy parents to spend more quality time with their children.
1. Schedule Regular Family Time
This might seem like a no brainer, but if you don’t schedule in family time beforehand, something is ALWAYS going to come up if you try and plan it that day. Put it in your calendar or your planner, and keep this time free every week or month. We bet your kids will come to look forward to it every week and you’ll feel much better knowing that you can take breather and be with the kids in that regular time slot.
2. Get Takeout Once In A While
When you think about it, all the effort it takes to cook and wash up can add over the week and cut into time you could be spending with your kiddos. Why not take that time back once in awhile and get cheap takeout? That extra hour can be quality time spent playing board games, reading stories or just having a good heart-to-heart chat, and its one less thing for you to worry about. It doesn’t have to be all the time (hello, grocery budget), but the times you do choose to order in will be worth their weight in gold.
3. Make Everything A Family Affair
Whether its housework, cooking or even DIY, try to include your children as much as you can. Even younger kids can wash vegetables or hold a flashlight while you fix the plumbing. Not only will your child be learning great life skills, you’ll also be bonding and having fun while working together to achieve something.
4. Set Time Limits on TV Time
While it might not seem like much, all that TV or Netflix time really adds up. While there’s nothing wrong with watching a movie or a sitcom together, remember that there are other ways that you could be interacting and communicating that are might more productive. Don’t let TV suck away all your time together and set a limit on how much you watch.
5. Practice Self-Care
Recent studies have shown that many kids don’t actually wish they had more time with their parents, but rather that their parents were less stressed and tired when they spent time together. Obviously, parents have a huge burden in balancing work and family responsibilities, but just like on an airplane when you need to put your OWN oxygen mask on before helping others, parenting requires self-care too. If you feel you’re not spending enough quality time with your kids, although it might seem counterintuitive, getting a babysitter and having an evening out might be the best solution.
6. Exercise Together
Remember how we said earlier that most kids would prefer that their parents were less stressed rather than being able to spending more time with them? A big part of you de-stressing is getting regular exercise. This is another great opportunity to include your kids. Whether its kicking the soccer ball around or taking them with you for a jog, exercise is a great bonding experience, and will result in both of you being happier and healthier in general.
About the Author
A former teacher who has worked in both the UK and China, Matt Morrissey is a writer, traveller, musician and all-round lover of life who regularly contributes to Buzzparent. He firmly believes that children are deep and rich wells of potential, and that a proper education, both moral/spiritual and academic, is the key to ensuring that their potential is realized. He also believes that the electric guitar is the greatest invention in the history of humankind, so don’t take everything he says too seriously. Matt is a huge drone fanatic, and often says that he can’t wait for the day that packages are dropped off at his doorstep by friendly delivery drones. In the meantime, he is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management.