Being a parent is indeed one of the most fulfilling experiences you’ll ever have. But you know you’re at your wits’ end if you feel like you don’t get to spend enough quality time with your children. You’ve got work, errands, chores, and other tasks that you need to accomplish daily; it’s tough not to forget about them.
It can be pretty challenging for you as a busy parent, but you should never neglect the little people who love you more than anything else in this world. Here are some of the ways on how you can bond with them even when you think all hope is lost:
Communicate With Them When You Have the Chance
One of the most basic yet effective ways you can connect with your kids is by actually talking to them. It’s not that you should bug them non-stop, but you should make a conscious effort to see how their day went and what they did at school. Not all parents are skilled in this area, so you better keep practicing until you’ve perfected this one.
When you feel like you’re overwhelmed or stressed out because of work, talk about it with your children instead of keeping it bottled up inside you. It will take a load off your shoulders if you share what’s troubling you with people who care for you more than anything else. Kids can be very intuitive that they’ll notice when something is up, so don’t deny them of your time.
Ensure You Follow Up on Their School Work
No matter how busy you are, you should make sure you follow up with their school work. You can either check or ask them about it once they return from school. If you want to bond with your children more, you will choose the latter option most likely. Of course, you may feel like you don’t know what to say in these situations, but if you read ahead, you will learn some proven and tested phrases that you can use next time you talk to your kids about their day at school.
You can ask about their favorite parts of the day, you can also inquire about a specific lesson, or you can even try talking to them about a particular child in their class.
In this case, you want to show you’re interested in what they’re doing at school, and you would like to get an insight into how the other children are acting. Since you will be having many conversations with your kids regarding schoolwork, you should come up with some topics that you want to talk about ahead of time. It’s always suitable for your kids if they feel that you care enough to listen and learn more about what is happening in their lives.
If you feel that your kids know you’re interested in what’s going on in their lives, then you should continue with this routine as much as possible. That way, you will always have something to talk about, and it will be easier for them to open up because they won’t have any doubt you want to hear from them. But, if not, maybe now is a good time to start thinking of some questions you may want to ask next time they return from school.
Plan For Family Time During the Weekends
How busy you are doesn’t mean you can’t make your family a priority. You know that you and your kids need time together after you’ve all had hectic schedules during the weekdays. So what you can do is set aside a weekend for some quality time with your kids and let them be themselves while enjoying each other’s company.
You could go on a picnic in the park, go swim in the pool or stay at home and watch movies together. The idea is to get away from work and spend time with each other no matter how you choose.
One thing you should keep in mind, though, is not taking your phone along when you’re spending some time with your family. It’s fine; you’ll be checking it on some points during the day, but you should keep your phone aside when you’re spending time with them so you can talk to them instead of just responding to their messages while you’re glued to your screen.
When you do this, you get to bond more with your kids and spend more time together than you’ve expected. There are no distractions that will come between you and your kids while you’re doing something else like watching movies or eating at a restaurant. This is also great because you get to know each other better by just letting loose and hanging out for some hours during the weekends. Plus, there’s nothing quite like having quality time with your loved ones.
Watch Movies With Them
One of the best ways to bond with your kids is by watching movies together. The movie you pick doesn’t matter as long as you both enjoy it. Your children might know better movies than you do, especially since you haven’t been paying much attention to film in the past few years. This is an excellent opportunity for you and your children to bond over something you like and talk about it later on in life. Kids love it when their parents take time out of their day to spend time with them, so be sure to watch a movie each week or twice a month if you’re too busy.
Take Them to Kids’ Hangouts
Kids hangouts are an easy way to connect with your children while doing something both you and they enjoy. Here are a couple of the best options:
Escape rooms: Rather than buying presents you know they won’t like, take them to an escape room and help them solve the mystery within the hour. It’s entertaining enough that you’ll want to stick around even when you’ve helped out.
Playgrounds: There’s nothing fun like playing in a garden when you were a kid. Introduce your children to the same fun you had; you’ll love seeing them make the same mistakes you made, and you can teach them how to do it right.
Playdates: Kids deserve friends of their age, not just you trying to play with them all day. Organize kids’ playdates so your children can spend time with other people their age; you’ll get some relaxation in between watching.
Bike rides: Bike rides are always good for both you and your kids. They’re great exercise while you chat about whatever comes to mind – even if that’s just the scenery on the way there.
Go Shopping With Them
Take your child shopping and buy them toys and clothes. You might also gift them anything from smartphones to mobile time clocks for employees to keep track of their time.
They’ll get excited because they will feel like an adult while helping you pick out things that you think they would like. You could also give them a budget or ask them if there’s anything they want to buy for themselves.
Use Their Favorite Toys as Conversation Starters
The best way you can bond with your kids is through conversation. Use the toys they like at the moment – it might be an animated superhero or just one of the latest mobile game characters – and talk about how much they like that character/toy. You can even use it as an ice breaker when you want to discuss something meaningful with your kid(s). For example, you could start by asking them why they like that toy/character, what the toy/character’s best feature is, and their favorite character in the toy/storyline.
You can ask your kid(s) to read you a book written about their favorite toy or game character. Kids love hearing stories about themselves, so you might find you enjoy it too, especially if you already know what happens on each page. You could even use the books you’re reading with your kids as inspiration for your conversation, be sure you don’t sound like you’re simply reciting from memory.
For more active bonding experiences, you could play games involving toys or mobile game characters.
Help Them Discover Their Talents
Everyone is born with unique talents. Finding out what they are good at and encouraging your children to pursue these abilities can help you bond with them more than you think.
Get Interested in Things You’ve Never Done Before
When you take an interest in something you’re not familiar with, you open up a world of new possibilities that will help you connect with your kids. So, if your child wants to learn how to play soccer, why not join them? It’ll be fun for both of you. Plus, it’s an activity where the two of you can grow together as you learn it together (if one or both of you don’t know how).
Encourage Your Child to Try New Things
As you probably already know, kids can sometimes be afraid of trying new things. So if you want them to try something you’re interested in, you might want to start by encouraging them. For example, if you want your kid to read more or go with you on a trek, you could say you’ve always wanted to learn how to cook and ask if they’d like to come along. This way, you get an activity that comes naturally for both of you while also encouraging your child to do something new.
Ask Their Opinion
Opinion-asking is one of the simplest ways of bonding with children. People have some opinions – even young ones – so why not ask them? You might be surprised what you’ll learn about your children. For example, you might want to ask their opinion on something you’re looking at buying for yourself or the house. This way, you get some insight into what they like, and you have a fun activity you can do together.
Give Them Undivided Attention
When you give your undivided attention, you reassure your kids that you care about what they have to say. It also helps them feel more comfortable opening up to you, which will allow you to learn new things about each other – which is always fun. Try having one-on-one time with your child over dinner or while taking a stroll in the park – these are great opportunities for learning more about what’s going on in their lives.
Try Games You’ve Never Played Before
If you’ve got a whole day or week to spare, you can try a new game with your kids that you’ve never played before. There are countless board games and online games you could try – you might even end up liking it. Be sure to take this activity slowly, though – if you’re the competitive type, you don’t want to force yourself. Just have fun and enjoy spending time with your children.
Show your kids that you care about them by taking the time to engage with them. If you’re a busy parent, it’s understandable that sometimes life gets in the way of spending quality time together. To help make up for lost moments and build better bonds between parents and their children, try the above tips on how to spend more time with your family when you can.