Being a parent is the ultimate juggling act and at no time is that clearer than when you’re trying to balance everything. You want to make sure that you have enough time to finish all your important tasks but you also need to spread out your time and attention so that your kids don’t feel neglected.
Striking this very, very delicate balance consists of making sure that you satisfy the needs of your children as much as you can whilst also ensuring that your personal needs are met. And if you have a spouse or partner, you must ensure that they don’t also get left out.
Though it’s all enough to drive you stir crazy, spending time with your children and making sure that they feel loved and cared for is a worthwhile endeavor. The benefits of spending time, quality time to be precise, with your children are well documented.
Special time with your child is an opportunity to:
- Send a message to your kids that they’re the most important thing in your life.
- Understand your kids’ perspective so that you can see the world from their point of view.
- Try and figure out what your child likes and dislikes or what he or she is worried about.
- Guide your kids as you talk and listen to one another.
Time spent with your kids is not just for them; it’s good for you too. Doing activities with your kids will help you feel more content, more relaxed, and it will help you build your resilience for those instances when they start talking back (urgh, teenagers!). As such, if you are looking for more ways to spend with your kids, here are 5 things you should totally do with your kids:
Play with them
As mentioned earlier parent-child play is beneficial for both parties. Playing with your kids is not just a great way to get to know them better, but it is also an ideal way to fit in a workout as your child develops new skills. Plus, when you play with your child, what you’re saying to him or her is that it’s ok to play even when you become an adult.
Playing together with your child demonstrates that playing and having fun is something that never goes out of style. It’s also a great chance to model vital soft kills to your kids such as sportsmanship and strategic thinking.
Whenever you play with your kid, you can be certain of one thing- that they’re watching your every move and they won’t be shy about imitating you. It doesn’t matter what you choose to play; hide or seek or a hearty game of Foosball (good selection of tables for the home here), as long as it allows you to bond and discover the joy of play.
Spend time together in nature
Spending time together with your kids outdoors is one of the best things that you can do for their development. Just the simple act of being out in nature has been scientifically proven to activate the parts of the brain associated with happiness and stress relief.
Being in nature with your children will also help to increase your liveliness, boosts your energy levels, and is an all-round positive experience for parents and children. Being out in nature is also easily one of the best ways to encourage your kids to get moving, tumbling, running, jumping, and all those physical movements that promote fitness and flexibility.
Go to the Farmer’s market together
Going to the local farmers market with your kids will help to expose them to locally grown food so that you can encourage them to eat healthy meals. While you are at the market, allow your kids to peruse the different stalls, and even encourage them to taste new things.
If you encourage your kids to be adventurous in their food choices, they will be less likely to develop fussy eating habits. Another great activity to encourage healthy eating habits would be strawberry or apple picking.
Camping is one of the best family bonding activities- hands down. It is also an excellent way for kids to develop their sense of adventure. Camping, even if it is just for a night, will give your kids the freedom to explore, which will in turn boost their imagination and creativity. Additionally, it will bring them closer to nature.
Camping can be time-consuming and even expensive at times. So, if you don’t have time to head out to a park or campsite or sufficient camping gear, simply opt to spend a night outdoors under the stars. You don’t need much for this- just a warm blanket and a tent.
Everyone needs a break-even from playing. Too often, a lot of parents try to fill up every second of their kid’s schedule with activities. However, sometimes there is value in just doing nothing.
Now and then, it’s ok to encourage everyone to lounge. If you have no activities planned for the day, back off and allow the kids to make their own plans, even if that includes doing nothing constructive at all. Alternatively, if the kids want to run around the back yard or build a fort, let them.
Spending quality time with your kids, especially when you allow them to be in control of the activities, can result in them generally feeling happier, less stressed, more confident, and secure and obedient. If you have more than one kid, spending quality time with each one is also one of the most straightforward ways to avoid sibling rivalry.
When parents carve out special time, preferably a couple of hours each day, to spend with their child, there is a kind of magic that’s experienced when the parent shifts attention into their child’s world.
It doesn’t matter how old the kids in question are- when we truly make the decision to spend time with them, it’s as if our souls open wider and our hearts grow bigger so that we can really start to hear what our children are saying.