“Oh dear, my little one is all grown up! When did that happen? Where was I?” Do you have thoughts on these lines that nag you out of your wits?
Every time you’re stuck in the traffic, on an outstation trip, or amidst some chore, that tiny voice in your head reminds you about missing out on the bonding time with your kid. You try not to feel guilty. Just try really hard to move past it—”Weekend is just around the corner.” But it just doesn’t help! You aren’t spending time with your little one!
You aren’t alone. This is the case of many parents—working mothers and fathers, stay-at-home parents, and so on. Today’s lifestyle is as such that time is of the essence. There are a million things to do and they all boil down to one thing: “My child’s future needs to be secure.” Hold that thought! You must spend with your child. It’s absolutely essential. Why?
Why spend time with your kid
“Children imitate by observing what their role models, most often parents, do. Spending quality time with them will help them learn so much,” says Neha Taparia, a lecturer of psychology at St Francis College for Women, Hyderabad. Parents help nurture various skills including communication, social, writing, reading, etc.
“Spend qualitative time as it shapes a child’s personality. When this isn’t the case, he/she is likely to develop an attention-seeking behaviour, especially when in public as parents would have to hear him/her out,” adds Neha.
Take time off your hectic tiring schedule, even if for a few minutes only. Future isn’t 0until tomorrow. Moreover, spending time with your little one today is worth it—you can’t miss that twinkle his/her eyes, for one. Here are 7 ways to bond with your kid, almost every day:
7 ways to spend time with kids
1) Let it be part of to-do list
Whether a stay-at-home or working parent, ensure that you make time for your child. Add it part of your agenda for the day. It could be after school hours, before dinner, or at bedtime. How about helping him/her with the homework? After a long day at work or doing household chores, you’re tired as well. So ask your child to lend you a hand in the chores—washing utensils, cleaning the room, folding clothes, etc.
2) Put your gadgets aside
TV, mobile phones, video games, etc are a buzz kill. Let’s say you just get too comfortable staring at the screens. Yes, watching TV or playing video games offer good bonding experience. Keep it aside for the weekend if you like. Every day, make it point to keep your phone on silent once you’re home. If it’s office work, you can sort it out in the morning. Instead, play board games, do art-and-craft activity or eat at the table. They make for a great family bonding time.
3) Don’t overload
You’re fatigued by the time you come from office or finish your daily chores. So, don’t overload your day with more work. You’ll end up with less time to do things, you’ll want to use up every free moment you get. Thus, eating into your bonding time. Besides, don’t enroll your child in every after-school classes like tennis coaching, swimming, dancing, singing, etc. It eats into his/her bonding with you. Don’t overdo!
4) Special bedtime ritual
Have a routine that you and your child can do every night. It can be anything—making silly song with funny words, pillow fight, or reading a book. Just make it special. Say “It’s going to be bedtime soon, let’s get ready for bed.” Let your child laugh at your silliness.
5) Have a date
Yes, you read it correct. Your spouse and you can take turns to spend some quality time with your kid. Pick out a day, get your little one to choose an activity, and both of you can spend quality time. Get him/her to talk to you. Surely, you will hear a lot of things. When your spouse is spending time with him/her, you can catch up on all the work you want to finish.
6) Play together
When I asked a colleague of mine how he spends time with his kid, he said that they pretend play. “We build a house, a tent, or anything with pillows, bedsheets, and whatever we can lay our hands on.” Playing, indoors or outdoors, is a fun way to bond with your child. How about teaching him/her to play gilli danda, frisbee, or seven stones?
7) Go for a walk, drive
Going to the nearby shop, playground, or relative’s place? Walk down with your child. It’s a leisurely exercise. “I go for a walk with my daughter everyday. Wherever she wants to go, I just follow her. It has become a habit that she stands near the gate when it’s time to go out for a walk,” says Neha, who is also a mother of a toddler. Drive around your locality. Just let it be—a slow ride so that you can discuss almost anything under the sun with your child.
It’s impossible to quit the job to spend time with kids properly. You can always make adjustments in your daily schedule. You may have tried doing that a number of times without much success. Nevertheless try again. How about starting it by taking just a few minutes off. It could be your short break from work!
After all, like someone as has said, “To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.”
Share your tips on spending time with kids in the ‘Comments’ section below.
Image credit: Kamyar Adl
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