It\’s so easy to give your kids a few dollars and send them on their way. They probably even came to you and asked for money to hang out with their buddies. But, many times what they really want is time with you. They are aware you are pulled in many different directions, so they try to help by getting out of your way. By financing their time out, you are helping them stay away.
Today\’s rapid paced world makes it difficult to find spare time to meet with your family much less spend quality bonding time. It\’s becoming common for families to only see each other in the morning and at night, and at the end of the day they are all too tired to spend any quality time together.
Even meals are too often eaten standing up or at a fast food restaurant. Time to indulge in conversation has become so scarce that anyone hardly has time for it any more. It\’s the wise family that schedules time to be together.
Set aside at least one night a week for the family to be together, alone. It\’s important that no sleepovers are arranged on this particular night. If you hope to be conversing with your family, take the phone off the hook. If this has never happened before, and especially if your kids are older, you may have to struggle for a while until everyone adjusts to the idea, but they will soon thank you for it.
What you do is not that important. Only try to be together no matter what you do. Open the doors to conversation, ask your kids questions and allow them to open up to you. Let them tell you about their day, and about any success or upset they may have run into.
Many families enjoy board games. If you are on a tight budget, you can easily find board games at discount stores and garage sales. You probably already have the basic games such as cards, dominoes and checkers. You can read to younger children. Older children may enjoy discussing a book the whole family has read.
The whole family can indulge in craft-making and cooking. You can discover one another\’s talent while you are creating something together, and you can talk as you work. You probably have fond memories of when your own father helped you build something. Or maybe you remember time spent baking with mom in the kitchen.
Always compliment your children and emphasize the positive not the negative. Let them know you\’re there for them anytime, anywhere. You can never hug them too much, and that special note inside the lunchbox is always a wonderful thing to find.
All together, time doesn\’t have to be spent at home but try to plan outside activities that allow interaction. A camping trip or fishing expedition would be fun and inexpensive. You could even camp out in the back yard.
Make sure you try to attend as many activities as you can, if your kids are involved. Giving children your time and love is not expensive and one of the most worthwhile investments you\’ll ever make.