The summer is speeding by quickly, and before you know it, school will start again. Along with the beginning of school, comes a more busy and full calendar. Parents have less and less time to spend with their children, especially if they have several.
However, in the midst of these hectic times, parents can be intentional about creating meaningful moments with their kids.
With this in mind, I thought I would begin this inaugural blog with some thoughts on how to maximize the time you spend with your children.
Spending time with your kids is very important. Each of your children need some one-on-one time with you daily, or at least several times a week. This time is crucial to building strong, trusting connections with kids.
Here are a few things I would suggest intentionally making a part of your one-on-one time.
First, let this time, whether it is 20 minutes or an hour, be something they would like to do. Give them the freedom to choose how they spend their time with you.
Second, include the following components into your time with them.
These relational components add both to the love your child feels and the connection you build with them both neurologically (they actually build and strengthen the pathways in their brains) and emotionally (they will help them feel safe and more trusting):
Touch – kids love it when you tickle, wrestle, or even cuddle with them. It not only feels good to them but it actually helps them trust you more.
Playfulness – kids feel so much safer around adults who can get on their level and play with them. It tells the child that you are comfortable with yourself and with them.
Eye Contact – kids are intimidated by too much eye contact from an adult, especially if the adult is upset. However, when an adult is playing with a child and intentionally looks the child in the eyes, it can also increase the child’s sense of love and acceptance from the adult.
Presence – It is so hard for adults to be fully present these days. Many times I see adults at the playground looking at their phones texting, reading emails, surfing the web, etc. It is so important for parents, during this one on one time, to put the phone or tablet away and really focus on being present with their child with their actions and thoughts. not only with their actions but with their thoughts as well.
I hope you spend some time intentionally doing these over the next few weeks as you really soak up this time with your children before the business of school hits. In the beginning, it may be need to be intentional and take practice, but it will move into a habit that you will do without thinking. Both you and your children’s lives will be enriched!