By Kate Scheuer, Courier & Press, January 26, 2016 – When I was growing up, my parents both worked full-time. Despite her busy schedule, however, my mother did a wonderful job making time to spend with us.
One of my favorite childhood memories is when Mom would spontaneously say, “Let’s go for an ice cream run!” We would all jump in the car and head out for a treat. More than the delicious vanilla ice cream cones, I remember enjoying the time I spent talking and laughing with my mom.
Spending quality time with your child is priceless. As they grow older it may seem harder and harder to have those precious moments together. Start today by figuring out when you can carve out a few minutes together on a regular basis.
Here are some suggestions for spending quality time with your children:
Schedule time during the day. Eat breakfast together or schedule a sit-down or phone call after school.
While driving in the car from place to place, use the time to discuss their day, current successes, struggles, hopes and dreams.
At bedtime, set aside a few minutes of quiet time to help them unwind.
Try to have a few sit-down dinners together each week.
Include your kids in your workout routine. Push them in the stroller while you walk or run, or if they’re older, they can walk/run alongside. Go hiking or bowling together. Have a dance party or put on an exercise video you can all enjoy at home.
Try one of your child’s hobbies. Seeing your child enjoy what they love will be fun for you, too!
Also, remember to listen intently when your child talks. It is easy to become distracted and misunderstand what he or she is trying to communicate. Try putting away your cellphone or turning off the television. Children are seeking your attention, and they will find a way to get it in a negative manner if you are not listening.
Spending time with your children does not mean you have to plan something special or go somewhere; it can be as simple as reading a book or playing outside. Find what works best for your family. Remember that quality time is more important than quantity.
Youth First, Inc. offers the Strengthening Families program. This program is designed for all families. In today’s society raising children can be difficult and the demands on our time are always increasing. Finding quality time to spend together can be challenging.
Strengthening Families gives you the opportunity to share your parenting successes and struggles with other families experiencing the same joys and obstacles. You will also be given new tools and strategies to take home and put into practice. Parents are also encouraged to build on what is already working well for your family.
By attending Strengthening Families, you are also guaranteed some good quality family time. Please call Youth First at 812-421-8336 to register or get more information.