Ways to spend quality time with your child are a dime a dozen on the internet. There are so many options out there to spend quality time with your kids but not all of them are created equally. I am a huge advocate for making your time with your kids count! So many times parent guilt can tell you that you work too much or do other things. Here are some realistic tips for making time with your kids count.
Realistic Quality Time Ideas
Disclaimer – Every family dynamic is different. Find what works for you. If you have a child who has quality time as a love language, they will always want more time with you. Be prepared to spend more time meeting that emotional need.
Repurpose the day-to-day
What do I mean by that? Day-to-day life is packed with tasks that can take the focus off of our kids and family time. Finding ways to repurpose the day-to-day can be a great way to find quality time. Finding small ways to spend time together doing things you enjoy while doing things you may not, can be a good way to reclaim quality time in a busy schedule. Here are a few ideas.
- Don’t underestimate the power of music! – When we have to run errands or even clean house, one of the ways we’ll connect is by rotating the playlist. We rotate who gets to pick the next song. You’d be amazed what you can learn about your kids by listening to their favorite music!
- Put the phone down. – When waiting in doctor’s offices and in line for errands, it can be tempting to spend time on your phone being productive or taking a quick break. Use this time to start a conversation or play a waiting room game with your kids. My son is a huge fan of asking “would you rather” style questions when we are waiting somewhere.
- Find the fun in the mundane. – Are you spending the day deep cleaning the house? Working on a big yard project? Stuck grocery shopping? Find ways to add some fun into the mundane. This might mean racing to see who can clean the fastest, seeing who can fill their bag faster, or even making a grocery store scavenger hunt that ends with a favorite treat.
Find ways to be a part of the things they enjoy
I don’t mean hijacking their personal interests and making them yours as well. Instead, I am suggesting that you find ways to engage with them about the things that they are already interested in. Most kids love to talk about their special interest. In fact, they can spend hours on end talking about dinosaurs or their favorite band. Here are a few ways to get involved with the things your kids already enjoy.
- Ask open ended questions. – Don’t ask questions with an end goal. Instead, questions like, “if you could teach me one thing about… what would it be” or “I know you love this band but what song speaks to you most and why?” Starting an open ended conversation gives them the space to take you on an adventure into their special interest.
- Ask how you can join them. – Sometimes joining your kids in their special interest means learning to build lego figurines, watching an anime you never thought you’d watch, or sitting in a theater for a concert. The goal is to find ways to join them in their world instead of bringing them into yours.
- Find new ways for them to enjoy what they love. – So often when kids have a special interest, they want to find new ways to enjoy it. This might mean going to a comic conference for an anime fan, going on a tour of a film set, or even heading out to a fossil dig. The goal is to find things your child will fully engage with that they wouldn’t be able to experience without a little help from you.
Make time for the small stuff
So often when parents think of quality time, they’re working to o all of the big stuff. Going on ice cream dates, visiting theme parks, and heading out on trips. While there is a place for big stuff, life is made up of the little moments. Making time for the small stuff can be a game-changer for your relationship. Here are a few ways to make them a priority.
- Find the little laughs. – One of my all time favorite memories with my daughter is standing in the backyard on a windy day wrapped in blankets. We stood there and let the wind blow our blankets up like capes. Sometmes life gives us little moments to laugh with our kids. Take advantage of those.
- Watch a favorite show together. – It can be a lot of fun to find a show you can both enjoy to share. Find something you can laugh at or something that you can talk about together.
- Answer the questions that seem like they make no sense. – My son is famous for questions that come out of left field. They often feel like they make no sense. However, these questions have prompted some of the most significant conversations we’ve ever had.
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