Coping with school and business schedules, organizing children’s socializing and general commitment day after day, can dramatically reduce the amount of time spent together as a family. If we add the hours in front of the screen, all this can be quite worrying. By allowing children to spend so much time in front of the screen, we teach them to fill their days, and their thoughts with the information and a variety of digital means of distraction and less emphasis is placed on how important is to actually connect with the family. Regardless of which age are children, it is important to stay connected. Here are a few ways to do so.
Create little rituals and traditions
Rituals and traditions are not only for the holidays. Try to integrate some traditions in your weekly or monthly routine. Along with diet and environment, routines and traditions can have a lasting impact on your child. If you create a routine with the small, everyday things (singing special songs at the bedtime, family evening social games or making pancakes on weekends), those things will become a unique tradition thanks to which you will feel closer to your child. Kids go through major developmental changes, but everything predictable will instill a sense of security to them – especially if it’s something they can share with you. Traditions and rituals create memories that last forever.
Let each thing be interesting
Think of humorous songs, play music when you hear it (even if you do not hear it, invent it), try some funny hat while shopping – be spontaneous. Children do not expect that adults have a sense of humor, so they are much more connected with us when we are relaxed. Come up with nicknames for each other, and call everyday things in your own words. Call showering swimming, or come up with a funny name for the remote – it will connect you together as a family.
Teach your children how to cook, turning those moments into an interesting family moments. Take the family recipes of past generations, and maybe even get creative and create some new family recipe together. Children will be interested if you make something that they want or, if with the help of imagination, you create an interesting and healthy meal. Start slowly and do not forget to always supervise your children in the kitchen.
Read to them
Reading is a great way to start the conversation and to help each other to ask various questions. When you read, give characters different voices, re-read favorite pieces and mention your child’s name in the story. Younger children really enjoy when you tell them stories. In addition, this is a very fun way to spend some time with your little ones. Make sure you choose an interesting story and enjoy the world of imagination together with children. And do not forget that they will not mind if you do not have narrative skill, the fact that you try to convey the story is enough to make them watching you and listen to you without blinking.
Enjoy even in cold weather
Although cold weather and shorter days seem depressing to adults, especially when thinking about going to work when it is snow and ice, kids can enjoy the winter games. Join them and accept their enthusiasm! Together with your children you can remember the games and entertainment that you enjoyed as a child, play in the park, rock it to swing or make interesting shapes of ground and sand, take them sledding or ice skating, make everyone’s favorite snowman, and upon returning to the warmth of home enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. Remember, for children winter means family celebrations and gifts, enjoy the joy and share it with them. Just get out for a walk and spend time with children, it will everyone.
Be a friend of your child
While children are small, they want to spend every possible second with you – make it so that you will enjoy every minute joint while driving a car or watching the ducks in the park. If your child starts to clown, you also clown with it and turn it in activities that you enjoy – let him or her do things in the kitchen or in the garden that are safe but interesting at the same time. Simply said – share activities.
Turn off the TV
It’s amazing how much TV has become an important part of family life today. It is true that family-watching TV programs can be fun and sometimes enlightening, but definitely does not promote interaction with children nor spending time together in a quality manner. This is sometimes even an excuse for a lack of communication within the family. Turn off the radio in the car when you are driving home from school, and then see what will fill that silence. It might be an unexpected conversation about what happened at school today or the latest joke. Even being quiet sometimes can be good!
Enjoy as much as you can, because time flies very fast. Don’t regret the moments you could have spent with your child but you didn’t because you were too busy. And after all, it is good to remember how it is to be a child for one more time.
Vanessa Davis is a 32-year-old fitness enthusiast, mother of two. She’s originally from Long Island, New York, and when she isn’t cooking up some new health recipes she enjoys doing yoga and figuring out new, delicious organic recipes for herself and her kids.