Most of us get caught up in a hectic whirlwind of activities which start on Monday morning, end on Sunday night and then begin all over again. Time slips by as we rush to complete urgent tasks which involve juggling jobs and running the household. Yet, we know that spending quality time with our kids is the best way to show them that we care about them and that they are important to us.
Spending time with children is easy because they yearn to be the centre of your life and attention. Here are some ways that can make spending time with your kids simple, meaningful and a part of your daily life.
1. Have Dinner
Make it a point to leave work earlier or schedule work for later in the evening so that you can make it home in time to sit down and have dinner together. Having dinner as a family allows you to be a part of the daily conversations and answer any question that your kids might have thought of during the day.
2. Fix Things Together
Is the kitchen sink broken? Do you need to paint the study room wall? Children love to help fix things. To us, these tasks may seem mundane, but to most kids, it’s a wonderful chance to see what’s under the kitchen sink, to understand how a faucet works and just to cover an entire wall in paint. Fixing things together allows you to plan for the project and gives you lots of time to interact with them.
3. After Dinner Walks
If you’ve already made time to have dinner with your kids, why not spend another 30 minutes going on a walk with them after dinner? In Singapore, the weather is the coolest and most pleasant during this time of the day.
Once the table is cleared and the dishes are washed, go for a walk around your neighbourhood. Talk about the changes you see and what your children observe around them as you go on these walks. The act of walking whilst talking may actually make it easier for children to bring up difficult topics or problems because they have something else (like walking) to focus on when discussing these subjects.
4. Leave a Message
Children love surprises! So, if you don’t have the time to see them in the morning before you leave for work, leave a short video or note for them to find. They will be thrilled to get a message from you and you will have had a chance to show that you care about them despite not being able to spend the morning with them.
5. Read Together
Reading to your children or even reading together with them for half an hour every night are great ways to spend time together. Choosing books to read and discussing them thereafter allows you to share ideas and values with your children.
6. Bring Your Child to School or Class
Make it a point to bring your child to school or extra classes. Doing this regularly allows you to spend more time together. Make travel time, together time!
7. Plan a Monthly Excursion
Think of a new place to visit each month. Perhaps it’s a museum, the latest theme park or a water adventure space. Get your children to help you plan the excursion.
8. Share Family Stories
Find time to share stories about your family’s history. Dig out your old photo albums and look through them with your children. Add new pictures to the family collection together and make this a regular activity.