From soccer practice, to dance recitals. Playdates to first dates. Sometimes it feels like your kids have a busier social life than you do. It can often be hard to squeeze in quality time with them.
Here are a few simple ways to connect with your kids:
Have a “no cell phones policy” at dinner. Whether you pocket your phones, or stack them on top of each other, make sure the little devils are silenced and out of the way. No taking calls or making texts, just conversation around the table.
Make car time count. The temptation to turn up the radio is high when you’ve had a stressful day, but this might be the only one-on-one time you get with your kid(s). Ask them one thing that made them happy and one thing that made them sad that day. Their responses might surprise you.
Get them involved in making dinner. This might be the most hectic time of the night for you, but instead of shooing the kids to another room, get them to help with the meal prep instead. It’ll help you de-stress and gets them engaged (in something other than the TV or their phones).
Have a bed time ritual. If you have younger kids, you probably already have a pretty strict set of rules in place (getting them to brush their teeth being a number one priority). But making time to read your kids a bed time story, or to ask about their day, can end the day on a positive note for both of you. This is especially important if your schedule doesn’t allow you to see then during the day – if the “goodnight” ritual is all you get, make it count.
It’s the little moments that mean the most, and kids grow up fast, so it’s important to cherish the time we have with them, even if you are playing taxi driver or chaperone.