Carving Out Quality Time For Busy Families

Being busy comes with being a parent but quality family time should always be a priority

We’ve all read the warnings: lack of time spent with kids is leading to overall disconnection. Despite a 2015 study that found that there was no correlation between time spent with kids and positive outcomes, we still feel the pressure to carve out more and more time with kids as our lives become increasingly busy. As the study pointed out, though, it’s not about quantity of time, it’s about the quality of that time spent.

Pack up that parental guilt and learn how to maximize the precious time you do have.

Our days are busy—from the moment we get up in the morning it’s a rush to go-go-go. Whether you work outside the home or not, as a parent, your schedule likely has very little downtime. It’s difficult in between the responsibilities to set aside time to just be with our families, isn’t it?

Here are five ways you can turn those few minutes into real quality time with your little ones:

Play five questions
Little kids love to talk about favourites. What’s their favourite colour? What was their favourite part of their day? What’s their favourite vegetable? Ask them five questions about themselves and see how they respond. Asking questions helps children learn how to participate in conversation and gives them a chance to tell you about themselves, which is something really little kids often don’t have the chance to do.

Truly listen
You might want to zone out when your toddler babbles, but to them, their stories are everything! Listening to excitement over a show or toy makes them feel important. Taking a genuine interest in your child’s stories and hobbies makes them feel valued.

Go on dates
Set aside a couple hours every month to spend one-on-one time with your kid(s). Ask them what they’d like to do and go enjoy that time together. You’ve got approximately 720 hours a month, how hard can it be to find two to spend together? Visit a favourite play place, take them to a public swimming pool, play at a new park—anything to just get the two of you alone together.

Cook together
You’re going to cook anyhow, so why not make it a family affair? Cooking together is not only a great time to have spontaneous conversations, but it teaches kids life skills—even toddlers can lend a hand in the kitchen. And as kids get older, responsibilities in the kitchen can increase and new skills learned, making it a truly special time spent together.

Play together
Whether it’s a board game, imaginary play, crafting or getting down onto the floor and playing with toys, spending playtime together is great for everyone in the family. Playing with kids of all ages has fantastic benefits, for them and us! One of the best things our family ever did was learn to downhill ski, because it’ll be something we can do (on vacations and at home) together for years to come.

Whatever you choose, remember that it’s not the amount of time spent, it’s how it’s spent that matters. And remember that everything’s going to be just fine.

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