Children will always need their parents, particularly when they are young, but no matter what age, having a good relationship with your children is crucial for health, happiness, and well-being. Spending quality time with your children is the ideal way to be there for them and to have a great relationship – you need to be totally present when you are with them. This can be difficult, especially if you are worrying about something or you also have a job. Here are some ways that you really can use to spend quality time with your children.
If you don’t want to find yourself distracted when you are with your children (and they will notice if this is the case, of course), then you need to make sure you are getting enough rest. That means sleeping well for enough time each night. The average adult needs around eight hours of sleep (some will need more, some less). You’ll know when you have slept well because you will actually feel rested rather than waking up still tired. It can be tempting to stay up late or get up early (or both) in order to get some time alone to get things done before the kids wake up or after they have gone to sleep, but that could be doing you more harm than good.
Switch Your Cell Off
Smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices really are the ultimate distraction these days. However, although the apps and social networks can be fun, they can also be detrimental to your relationship with your children because you are looking at the phone rather than engaging with them. Plus, when you have your emails on your phone, you are always just a step away from work, and that means you never really switch off.
When you’re with your children, leave the phone in another room or switch it off entirely. That way you can’t accidentally start scrolling through your Facebook feed, as you would have to actually go and get the phone to do that. If you use your phone or tablet to take photos, use a digital camera instead. Better yet, just live in the moment and enjoy the memories rather than trying to make everything picture perfect.
It’s The Little Things
When you want to spend quality time with your children, it doesn’t have to be something big and grand (and potentially expensive). Simply going out for a walk together, playing a board game, attempting to make Christmas cards, or going to the playground is enough. The point is being with them, and it doesn’t really make much difference what you do. Of course, big, fun days out are still a good idea, but you only need to go every now and then when your budget allows, not every week.
Look After Yourself
You need to look after yourself if you want to really be there for your children. If you are neglecting your own needs, then you won’t be in any shape to really engage. You might find that you are too tired or you’re feeling short-tempered and then you feel guilty if you have changed your mind about going somewhere or snapped at the kids for no real reason. Getting enough sleep is one thing, but you should also make sure your diet is well-balanced, that you’re getting enough exercise, and that you schedule in some ‘me time’ wherever possible.