We love our kids dearly, but isn’t it amazing how hard it is to spend time with them? Somehow life always seems to get in the way, either due to long hours at work, or even out-of-school activities where your children might be having a great time, just not in your company. Gadgets are another curse on time together, as you’ll almost certainly want to watch and play different things. But setting aside a few hours or a day to do something really special together will make you all feel great and strengthen that bond between you.
How to spend quality time with your kids
Get outside and active
Don’t be put off when your kid protests about the prospect of going outside for an activity that raises the heart rate. The old adage that they’ll enjoy it once they’re out is almost always true. And just going for a walk or a cycle ride is a terrific way to bond. There’s no pressure to talk about anything, and yet you have these hours alone together where you can talk far more deeply about feelings, fears and dreams than you ever normally would.
If they need that extra kick of inspiration, then pick an activity they already like, such as tennis or cricket in the park, or perhaps even take them swimming.
Indulge them with food
This is a one-off treat, but one that’ll make you very popular. Why not surprise them with a big chocolate hamper one morning and watch their face light up at the sight of it. If it’s not their birthday, Christmas or Easter it’ll really catch them on the hoof. It might warm them to the idea of doing something else a little different that day, too.
Otherwise, you could watch a movie together and present them with a huge box of popcorn, follow dinner with the most elaborate ice cream sundae they’ve ever seen, or plonk an apron over their neck and get them to help you bake something you can both gorge on later.
Take time out
If you’re all in bad habits and spend evenings glued to phones, TVs and iPads, make a conscious decision to ban all electricals for one evening a week. You’re likely to be met with protests at first, but so long as you plan well, it’ll become something everyone looks forward to because these evenings will always be fun and different.
It’s not just about spending time together, it’s about spending quality time with your kids. Time when you get the chance to express yourselves, learn more about each other, and uncover any problems you or they might be suppressing. It should also be a chance to get silly – after all, isn’t that what being a child is all about?