One frustration I hear from parents is that there are not enough hours in the day. We want to give more of ourselves especially when it comes to our family. Single parents especially feel this stress. By the time they earn their income and fulfill obligations with children (i.e. school- extracurricular activities), time has run out. The danger of this, of course, is children are going to bond with others no matter the degree to their which parents are in the picture. Therefore, when a parent is not keeping their finger on the pulse with their children, they are taking a big chance in terms is where the void is being filled.
So how does one go about finding the time? Many of us are so locked into our schedules that finding extra time seems improbable. With these thoughts in mind, I was recently listening to a classic rock radio station while in the shower (hold the jokes please) and the song Turn Up the Radio by Autograph came on. This got me thinking about some ideas to the time conundrum a lot of us face. Here are three ways I thought of to increase quality time with your child.
- Turn DOWN the radio. While driving a child to/from school or an extracurricular activity, you can spend time discussing their day and what’s going on in your life. Turning down the radio implies that talking to your child is more important than the latest Justin Bieber hit.
- Another idea is to prioritize family meals. Breakfast is a great example. Many parents could choose to get up ½ hour earlier and make a good breakfast for the entire family to share. This may entail having a child wake up a little earlier for school but the reward is worth it. One thing my family does occasionally is purchase large muffins from a local store. Trust me when I say everyone sits down together to enjoy these treats.
- Use social media to your advantage. If your child has a Facebook page, send them messages of encouragement. Texting a quick “I love you” to a child can be beneficial as well. Out of the three options, this is my least favorite because the other ideas seem much more personal to me. Regardless, if you are using this idea to enhance the relationship with your child along with other ideas, you should understand the benefit.
A final note to spending quality time with our children is this. The problem we face typically will not go away on its own. It takes a concerted effort for all children but especially with teenagers. Feel free to substitute any of my ideas with one of your own. Please understand though that spending quality time with your child is an obligation all of us share as caring parents. All my best to you and your families!