Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Taking Time with your Child

Taking time with your Child

Today's blog is short and simple; it is about spending quality time with your child.

My schedule is Busy?

In today's modern world there are many single parents, working parents and larger families (including 3 generations in one household). Time is limited resulting in quality time taking preference to quantity of time.

I understand that your schedule as a parent is hectic: there is work, there is homework; there is meals to be made and so much more that frequently you feel at a loss and exhausted. What you may not realise is that this directly affects your child, or children. Every emotion you experience your child, or children connect to. The first step is to ensure that you as a parent make provision for yourself and your partner to have time out. Here are the key quality time features in your family to create:

  • Parent time (this includes your own personal time and date night - yes your relationship with your partner is important)
  • Individual child time (spending time with each individual child in your family)
  • Family time
The idea behind quality time is that although the time spent together is short; it is of a personal, relationship developing and all involved feeling valued.

Quality time ideas in time frames:

Parent Personal Time:

As a parent try set aside a time once or twice a week that is your time, whether it be to attend a yoga class, relax in the bath, gym or even spend time with your friends. The time can be as short as one hour, but the time must be valued and enjoyed by you so that you can return to your family refreshed and ready to face the challenge of a hectic lifestyle.

Mom and Dad Time:

Yes! As a couple you need to behave like a loving couple; believe or not if your child or children see mom and dad are happy and inlove they feel involved in a loving and safe environment. I wanted to share something with you: once I suggested to two of parents that the invest in date night - they did - one day in class their amazing son blurted "I LOVE DATE NIGHT!" I was a little surprised at first and asked him why, his answer amazed me and I am sure you will be too "Mom and Dad fight less they talk and don't shout. I can see they love each other. This makes me very happy." I will say I wanted to cry from joy, but what I wanted to share with you as parents, is just how important your relationship is as a couple, not just the relationship as a family. I suggest date night a minimum of once a month, perhaps twice a month - ideally in an ideal world every week.

Parent and individual child:

All children need to know that they are special, frequently children are bunched into a family or siblings category. They do not feel recognised or valued by their parents. Individual time with each parent is essential, even if this is 15 minutes a day, being alone with you in the car, reading a story together at night or chatting before they go to bed. Please make time to acknowledged each child separately. This is their time to share concerns with you, to trust you and build a healthy relationship with you. I strongly recommend that once a month you take each child out on their own and do an activity together. Explain to each child they will each have a special turn with mom and dad - no will be left out.

Family time:

This is time as a family, avoid activities like movies, focus on activities that involve discussions, communication and fostering relationships. Go to museums, picnics, soccer games, ice skating or even just a good old milkshake at the whimpy. A visit to the park, one of my parents take his children to the park whilst the other attends a lesson. I can see the joy on their little faces when they return - I really commend this dad; I can already see that his eldest child is completely open, honest and trust his dad. Well done Dad!

My next blog will include some tips to do the above and ideal time frames :)



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