Photo by Pixabay from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/child-with-woman-holding-map-235554/
As a parent, you are always faced with the question of if you are spending enough time with your child. You want them to feel happy, safe and secure and that you’re giving them your love and attention. Yet with everyday life, you could find you don’t have as many opportunities to do this as you wish. It could be that you’ve recently had another child and your time is taken up with looking after them, or your job is demanding and busy. No matter the reason, you are going to want to do what you can to bond and spend time with your little one as much as possible. If you are struggling, we have put together some top ideas for how to bond with your child.
Why spending quality time with your child is important
There are many reasons why spending quality time with your child is so important. Firstly, it can help to aid them with their emotional and physical development. By showing your child you care for them and giving them a positive role model to look up to, it can help regulate the way they feel and give them confidence. It will also show them love and support which will mean if they have any issues they won’t be afraid to come and speak to you about them. If they’re being bullied at school for example, they’re more likely to tell you when you’re sitting just the two of you, doing an activity, than if you’re busy rushing around and just having rushed conversations here and there. It also means you can help see if there are any areas they need to develop on in their life. Perhaps through spending time, you find out their maths or English skills are lacking, or maybe that they need to get some more exercise. It gives you a chance to get a closer look at how they are doing. And finally, spending quality time with your child is important for both of you feeling closer and having that important bond that is vital to you both.
How can you spend quality time with your child?
As stated above, quality time can be hard to find, particularly when you have so many other things going on in your life. This is why it’s vital to carve out some time at least once a week that is just dedicated to them. If you have more than one child, you’ll need to do this separately rather than spending time with them all together. This enables them to bond with you on their own, rather than being overshadowed by a sibling. If you have a new baby, see if your partner or a family member can babysit them for an hour or two on a week evening. It won’t take too much out of your or their day, but will mean a lot to your other little one. Some of the ways you can spend quality time with your child, includes:
Have a dedicated bedtime routine that you spend with them
One of the best ways for you to spend quality time with your child, is to have a dedicated bedtime routine where you can catch up with them and do the same thing every day. Whether this is helping them with their bath and brushing their teeth, to just getting them tucked in and reading them a bedtime story, it’s a great way to spend uninterrupted time. Reading a story or having them read something to you is a lovely way to wind down before bed and also provide some great bonding opportunities too.
Help them with their school work
No child enjoys doing their homework, but by making it into something that you do together, you can turn it from something they dread, into something they view as a team effort. It could be that you’ve recently had an Independent educational evaluation and your child needs a little extra assistance, or it might just be that you want to spend this time helping your little one improve on their work. By being involved, you can encourage them to talk about their school day and what they are learning as well as get a better idea if there’s anything they need some extra help with. This can help to improve their school performance and is a nice thing to do together too.
Take time away from technology to chat with your child, even just ten minutes a day
In today’s world, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in technology as a way of switching off. It might be that you are absent mindedly scrolling on your phone or iPad, but to your child they see it as a barrier that they have to break through in order to speak to you. If they are talking to you while you’re on it, you’ll be distracted and won’t be giving them your full attention. To combat this, take at least ten minutes a day where you have no screens – and the same applies to your child – and you just catch up. It could be while you are eating dinner, or just when you’ve got in from work and school.
Do some cooking together
A great way to spend some quality time together is to do cooking together. Not only are you teaching your child a great life skill, but it’s also some uninterrupted time where you have no screens or distractions and can just have fun. The level of involvement your child can have might depend on their age, but you can get them into everything from helping you with the shopping, to the prepping, mixing and serving up. If you have a picky eater, getting them to help you with the cooking can be a fantastic way to improve their relationship with food too, so it’s a win win situation!
Have a whole day where they decide (within reason!) what you do
Another thing you can do in order to spend some quality time with your child is to have a whole day where they decide – within reason of course! What you do. You could give them a budget and label it your “Parent and child day” which they can come up with ideas for. This is something they are sure to look forward to, both for the quality time you get to spend and also for the excitement of choosing your activity. It could be going swimming, to a theme park or out for lunch – there are so many options you’re sure to both love!
These are just a few things that you can do in order to spend some quality time with your child. Spending that time together doesn’t need to be too much, as life is understandably very busy! However, by just putting in a little time every day and a bigger gesture every week or couple of weeks, you will both appreciate it. You will find that your relationship gets better and also you could find their behaviour improves as they are not vying for your attention. Often a child can misbehave as they are feeling as though they are not listened to, so by giving the time for them to speak with you and air how they feel, they won’t feel that way. Plus you’ll love spending quality time with your child! What are some top ways that you spend quality time with your child? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!