How to maintain an active involvement in your child's life even in full day care
Sharing Moments: Shaping Lives
At one time or another in our parental journey, most of us have wondered whether we spend enough time with our children. How much is “enough” when it comes to bonding with our children? And in reality, how much can we spare ourselves for them in our rushed and stressed lives?
For working parents who worry about the limited hours that are available for family time, it is important to note that “quality” and not “quantity” is what matters when it comes to spending time with children. Therefore, as a parent it is important for you to master the skill of turning any moment into an opportunity to create happy memories to enrich your children’s lives.
What is quality time?
Quality time is any moment we can spend with our children, giving them our undivided attention. This special time helps strengthen the bond with them while nurturing their mental and physical development.
Active engagement with our children while at home is an excellent starting point as they are keen to engage with you outside from their daily routines at the childcare centre.
Below are several suggestions to get you started as a parent on developing a deeper relationship with your children.
Play – Playing with children can be a joyful experience to them and wonderfully de-stressing for you! Whenever time permits, play your children’s favourite games and take a genuine interest in them. You can play indoor games like hide and seek and Simon says or even outdoor games like hopscotch, skipping or playing badminton. Alternatively, getting sporty with your children will help inculcate a confident and healthy self-image. Sports teach them to set goals, achieve targets and work within a team environment. Having you as their playmate makes them feel that parents appreciate their interests.
Take A Walk –Take a walk with your children while having a conversation with him/her. Keep the conversation open and be ready to change topics if your child wants. While you walk, you can have chats about anything from their activities at childcare to the planning of the next family trip!
Read To Your Child – Visit a book store or the local library with your child. Choose some colourful books with lot of pictures or let him/her have a book of his/her choice. This special time together promotes bonding, stimulates curiosity and helps with brain development.
Common Hobbies – Having a common hobby with your child is a great way to bond. Enjoy each other’s company while you play jigsaw puzzles, listen to music or do some artworks together. This will help your child spend his/her leisure time meaningfully.
Try Something New – Children love to experiment and experience new things. Try a new restaurant/shop, visit a new place/park, attend an exhibition or do something they have never done before!
Cook With Them – Whenever you cook meals at home, enlist your child’s help for small tasks such as washing vegetables or stirring batter in a ball. Inviting kids into the kitchen to prepare family meals is a great way to have quality time together. It will help your children learn and refine some basic skills that will be useful in their future.
Meal Time – Make sure you take at least one meal a day with your child. Schedule a regular time to have this special meal and make it a priority. Apart from guiding your child to have a healthy lifestyle, the meal table can also be used as an ideal platform to catch up on each other’s day.
Household Chores – Doing household chores together is a good strategy to engage with your children while getting chores happily done! You can get your child’s help in activities like tiding up the house or watering the plants. Make sure you involve them in small jobs that are appropriate for their age.
As parents, our most scarce resource is time so make it count. Sharing our time with our children and showing them love, warmth and sensitivity will ensure that they feel secure and loved. No matter how busy we get with job responsibilities, household chores and errands, we should always remember to maintain an intimate and loving relationship with our children.