Easy Ways to Spend Quality Time With Your Children
We all know spending quality time with our children is important. The quality of the time we spend with our children is more important than the quantity of time we spend with them.
While it would be nice to have an unlimited amount of time (and money) to spend on coming up with activities and adventures to stimulate our children and build our relationship with them, most of us don’t have that kind of time or money.
The good news is that you don’t have to come up with elaborate, time-consuming or costly activities to get quality time with your children daily.
In this article I’m sharing seven easy ways to spend quality time with your children every day.
How to Spend Quality Time With Your Kids Daily
Include Your Kids in Dinner Prep and Cooking
I cook dinner at home most nights. Since I cook from scratch, dinner prep takes time. I take that time to include my children in the dinner prep.
While we peel potatoes, chop veggies and create yummy marinades, we talk. They tell me about their day, we talk about what they’re learning in their school lessons and they learn important life skills – like the difference between scallions and shallots.
Did you know that including kids in meal prep is one of the ways to get a picky eater to eat healthy food?
If you’re worried that your kids are too young to cook or that they’ll get hurt in the kitchen, check out this article from Kitchen Stewardship that explains how to involve your kids in the kitchen beyond stirring.
Check out the Kids Cook Real Food ecourse for teaching your kids how to cook. Then you can sit back and chat with them while they make dinner!
Have Your Children Read To You
My youngest son is an extravert. He’s the only extravert living under our roof. Sometimes the rest of us are worn out from talking when he’s still going strong.
When I’m exhausted and can’t muster the energy to make interesting conversation we grab a book and he reads to me.
This way of spending quality time together fulfills his need to chat and allows me rest while snuggling with my sweet boy. It usually takes about 10-15 minutes depending on the difficulty of the book he chooses.
Talk With Your Kids While Driving To and From Activities
When my boys played competitive soccer we had a 30-45 minute commute to soccer practice three evenings each week.
I used that time to listen to them and talk to them. Sometimes they just wanted to talk about random happenings or ask questions that were on their mind.
Your kids are a captive audience in the car. Maybe they’d rather be on their phones, but they can still give a few minutes of the car ride to relationship building.
Of course, don’t force it. Especially if you or your children are introverts or if you have a particularly stressful drive to make. No one is having quality time if someone isn’t participating fully.
Engage Them With Short Videos or Podcasts
During the stressful season of life when my husband and I both worked full-time outside of the home my husband found a quick and educational way to connect with our boys almost every evening.
Three or four times a week, just before the boys’ bedtime, my husband would bring his phone into one of the boys’ rooms and they all gathered around. They listened to current new events, watched videos about science and history and other topics of interest.
This always sparked interesting conversation and was an important time for sharing our worldview and values with the boys.
This only took about 15 minutes of my husband’s time but it helped tremendously in relationship building.
Include Your Kids in Errands and Household Chores
Last weekend we needed a new sink pipe to replace a broken one. My husband had to make two trips to the store for the supplies and each time he offered to take the boys.
My middle son wanted to go with him alone the first time because he needed some one-on-one time with dad.
My youngest chose to go the second time.
Including children in these seemingly mundane life tasks is a great opportunity to teach them life skills and spend quality time with them all at once.
Don’t take the seemingly small things for granted. Your kids want your time more than they want some special activity.
Carve Out Time For Yourself
This may sound surprising, especially considering my gentle parenting ideals, but it’s true. It may be more difficult if you have little ones, but it can be done if you’re intentional and plan ahead.
When I’m at home and need to concentrate on work or another task my children are required to entertain themselves. When they were younger I’d save these tasks for when their father was home and could be on “main parent” duty.
A thousand little interruptions to my work flow can cause a task to take more time overall, which leaves less quality time to spend with the kids in the end.
Remember, it’s quality over quantity when it comes to time spent with your children!
Practice Gentle Discipline
I don’t waste my precious time with my kids yelling at them or punishing them. Who has time for that? Instead I turn behavior “issues” into opportunities to teach them something new about life and relationships.
I don’t set my kids up to fail. I don’t try to trick them or trap them into making mistakes so that I can punish them or “teach them a lesson”. I save us all time by being as proactive as I can be without over-functioning for them.
The time that we save by not having battles of will or harboring anger toward each other is spent showing them love. And real love is quality stuff!
More Resources for Spending Quality Time With Your Children
Here are a few more articles I’ve written on spending quality with your children.
You Don’t Have to Play With Your Kids
3 Reasons We Don’t Eat Dinner Together As a Family
5 Ways to Stay Connected With Your Kids When Life Gets Busy
How to Deal With Working Mom Guilt
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