Having kids is great, but when you are busy, it is easy to find yourself saying “not right now” and “maybe later.” Kids grow up fast, so making time for them, and bonding with them is important. You can also help them grow and teach them more whilst you spend valuable time together. Here are some ways that can help you find the time to spend with your kids and how you can make it meaningful:
1) Find Common Ground
Whilst kids are young, they will appreciate all of your participation and you can help to teach them and guide them. As they start to get older, they will begin to recognize when you are only feigning interest, so it is important to build up shared interests as soon as you can. They will enjoy shared activities much more if you are enjoying them too.
Share things you are passionate about, or interests you had when you were younger, and be open to learning more about what they like and are interested in too. If you both enjoy being outdoors, try investing more time into learning about nature, going for walks or going on bike rides, and planning camping trips. Look for board games you can play together like Mind the Gap from Solid Roots, or for Pokemon fans, card games can be great fun. You shouldn’t push your own interests onto your kids, but it’s good to encourage them to explore different hobbies and interests together with you. This could help you to find a hobby you can both enjoy together.
2) Schedule in Routine Time
If your schedule is busy with work, making dinner, and doing chores, it’s hard to find time to play. You should examine your schedule and look for windows that can be used to focus your attention on the kids. This could be a routine of reading them a book before bed every night or watching a film with them every Friday night; scheduling in activities can help make sure you make time for them. Kids enjoy time with you, no matter what that time is. If you’re too busy washing up, get them involved too. Play some fun music and encourage them to help out and then do something afterward as a reward. This can help to make chores more fun, encourage teamwork and responsibility, and teach them that rewards come after hard work. Plus, it means you get chores done and spend time with your kids too.
3) Make Plans Ahead
Time flies by quickly, and before you know it, several weeks have passed and you haven’t done all that much. This is why it can be important to plan ahead and think of activities you can do with your kids. It doesn’t have to be an expensive trip out – it could just be spending an afternoon baking or cooking with them. Go for a walk somewhere, play a board game with them, or do something crafty. If they have homework, offer to do it with them. If you need to do some DIY around the house, ask them if they want to ‘help.’ Teach them about menial tasks and let them help out with adult chores like making the bed and pulling the weeds out in the garden. Spend time doing things that they want to do, too, like building a blanket fort or playing dress-up.
Even the little moments can turn into learning experiences and fun memories. Everyone is busy, but you should squeeze in as much time with your kids as you can, to help support their growth and learning and to build a strong relationship with them. They will turn into adults before you know it!