In today’s society, fast-paced lifestyles and busy weeks can leave some parents struggling to find time to spend with their children. However, there are a few small things parents can do to be more engaged and get that special time they desire. Here are five ways parents can be more intentional with their children.
1. Think about how you were raised
Were your parents always working? Were they always going on date nights and leaving you behind with a sitter? While both of these things aren’t necessarily negative, they can prevent you from spending time with your child if you don’t strike a balance. Reflect on how much time your parents spent with you and how much time you wish you had with them. Consider how each of you interacted, what activities you did together, and how your parents affected your decisions.
2. Communicate with your partner
It’s helpful if you and your partner are on the same page with how you want to raise your kids, and how intentional and engaged you want to be with them. Sit down with your partner in the upcoming week and really discuss what values and goals you have for parenting and raising your children. Get as vulnerable and honest as possible—it’s important that both of you understand each other’s expectations.
3. Be consistent with your promises
If you promised your child you would take them to see a movie on Friday night, follow through! There’s nothing more disheartening than constantly cancelling plans and letting your kids down. It’s absolutely OK for some cancellations to happen every now and then—life gets busy and there are some things that just can’t be rescheduled or avoided. However, try not to make this a habit and make sure you’re not using work as an excuse to not spend time with your child.
4. Designate one day/night a week to spend time with your family
Perhaps you get the family together for a weekly spaghetti dinner or maybe it’s a board game tournament that you have once a week. Get input from your children and determine what they would like to do. Maybe they want to help you bake or go on an evening bike ride throughout the neighborhood. Try to come up with a compromise that everyone in the family can agree on.
5. Create a mindful space in the home
Amidst all of the activities, sports practices, schoolwork, and other extracurriculars that your child may have on their plate, it can be challenging for them to destress and relax in a busy home environment. Though a bedroom may be a good place for your child to rest, you don’t want it to be a place where they constantly seclude themselves to.
According to House Method, consider creating a clutter-free, quiet place in the home that serves as a special place for your child to come to and be mindful. Designating an area like this can show your child you care about their wellbeing and will do whatever it takes to make sure they have a creative outlet or simple and restful home experience.