Parents today are busier than their counterparts a few generations ago. Aside from single parents who have to juggle their parental responsibilities with providing for their family, even couples have trouble carving out time with their loved ones.
According to a survey, parents in the United States spend an average of 120 minutes with their children every day. Two hours may seem like enough time, but you may be spending less time than the average with your kids.
To improve your relationship with your kids and become a bigger part of their life, find ways to connect with them. Below are some ways you can try to spend more time with your kids and ensure you have plenty of common ground.
5 ways to increase time with kids
It’s important to pass down knowledge to your kids and spend a few hours with them. If that involves tinkering with something, even better. This doesn’t mean you have to teach your kids about, for example, your construction business, showing them how an overhaul kit for a CAT C15 works. What you teach them can be something as simple and practical as fixing up the family car.
Show them the basics every car owner should know. These include how to check the oil, how to tell if the engine is making the wrong sounds and how to replace the tires. Basic automotive skills can be a lifesaver and you can be the one to pass these skills on to your kid.
Do some gardening
Chores tend to pile up when you and your kids are busy working and living your lives. One of the busiest areas of your house can be the garden. On weekends, ask your children to help you spruce up the yard.
Getting some fresh air can do wonders for your moods and help make your home more appealing. Help them learn more about the plants around your house. Weeding and raking leaves may not be so fun on your own, but your company and conversation can turn chores into a nice family bonding moment.
If you live in an apartment or similarly small space, you may want to explore vertical gardening or bonsai gardening instead.
Go on a hike
If you want to experience nature without having to pluck weeds or water plants, you can take your children on a short hiking trip. Hiking is not only an excellent way to improve your physical health, but it can also do wonders for your mental wellness. Your kids can get a new appreciation for nature by spending more time in it with you.
There are also lots of ways they can enjoy time with you out in nature. You can prepare a lovely picnic, hike to a lake for some swimming or go out on a photography spree amidst the trees and plants. Just make sure you make proper preparations for any hike you intend to go on such as packing enough water and informing relevant authorities about your plans.
Make some art
If you or your kids are passionate about artistic endeavors, you can carve out a few hours a week to develop and explore this hobby. Kids who like drawing may want a challenge.
Set up separate art stations on the dining room table and have casual drawing competitions. Maybe each week, try to draw certain objects. If you want them to take their art more seriously, maybe you can consider converting a corner of the garage or a spare room into a communal art studio. It can become another area of the house where your family can come together and do mutually enjoyable activities.
Learn without judgment
Sometimes initiating conversations can be the best way to spend more time with your kids and gain a better understanding of their lives. However, parents can be judgmental about certain issues or thoughts their kids can have. This can make them unwilling to have prolonged talks with you.
If you want your kids to share their lives with you, learn how to not be judgmental about what they’re going through. You need to balance your desire to protect your kids with the ability to be there for them without judgment when they encounter problems.
Spending time with your kids is an important aspect of being a parent. Although it’s understandable that you can’t always be there for them, especially if you are a single parent, what matters is how you spend your time with them. Make sure each interaction you have with them is genuine and loving to secure a healthy relationship with your children as they grow.