As busy working parents, many of us struggle with finding the time to spend with our children, especially when we have many other demands screaming for our attention. Not to mention the nagging sense of guilt when we have to attend to these matters instead of to our children. Here, we share some other parents’ and parenting experts’ tips on how to create quality time with children and be part of their crucial growing up years despite our full schedules:
• Make every mealtime family time, and put aside other distractions such as our mobile devices.
• Take advantage of the public and school holidays to go on family outings.
• In addition to these outings, plan for parent-child “dates” for bonding time, giving our children our undivided attention. Involve your child in planning since it’s a special time you will be having together.
• Try to include them in daily routines, such as grocery shopping, fixing things around the house or doing housework together. Such opportunities allow you to impart invaluable life skills.
• Take about 15 minutes a day to have a private moment with them, chatting about their day such as school, teachers, friends, what they had at recess or lunch etc. Most parents find bedtime a conducive time to curl up in bed beside them and have a cosy chat.
• Participate in what they’re interested in such as a sport or hobby or the mobile or console games they are currently playing.
• You don’t need to have lengthy conversations if you don’t have the luxury of time to learn more about your children. Some fun quick questions such as “What superpower would you like to possess?”, “Who’s your favourite superhero?”, can help give you glimpse into what your children like and what their aspirations are.
• Your children’s special events are important moments for them and they would want you to be part of it. Explaining to them in advance if you really can’t make it, and remembering to ask them about it after the event will convey to them that these events matter to you as well.
• Most importantly, always be available for them. Let them know that the door to you is always welcoming and open.
No matter the length of the time spent, every moment with our children is a chance to create new adventures and build precious memories — ones that will always remind them of how special they are to us. So, let’s make the most of our time spent with our children and have loads of fun making happy memories!