Life is busy, as we all know it. Many parents are concerned that they do not spend enough time with their children, thinking this might lead to developmental delays. Some parents are submerged in guilt about working full-time or are anxious about choosing to go for a workout class or to dinner with friends.
Social media posts from stay-at-home mums who are able to take their children to the local zoo or work on art and the alphabet with them only increase this anxiety.
However, there is a reason for some optimism. There are many studies that say that quality time is more important than quantity of time. Children need high-quality time with parents and caregivers—that is what helps children the most and can affect them positively in their growth.
It isn’t about hours and hours of time—it’s about how you spend that time that really matters.
As parents and caregivers, we can make small choices to ensure time spent with our children is high-quality. Here are 9 tips for families who are time-starved:
1. Have one-on-one time with your child.
For example, have a daily “connect” time with your child, such as talking to your child.
Do this face-to-face, if possible, but if this isn’t an option, do so in other ways, such as leaving a note in his lunch box, posting a note by his cup, or writing an encouraging thought on the fridge in the house.
You could also have one-on-one time by doing something both of you enjoy, like going to watch a movie, going to the local theatre to see Disney-on-ice, or just way to show your children you make this time a priority.
2. Come up with a unique routine for you and your child—something to do daily.
For example, reading a specially chosen book to your child at bedtime. You can also give special time to your child to choose to do something special before bedtime.
3. Do tell your child you love her every day. And tell her how significant she is to you and how she affects your emotions.
4. Reinforce positive behaviour.
For instance, if your child completes his chores without your asking, acknowledge it with appreciative words—even if you do not have the time to do it until the next day. Affirm your child with positive words – you can get many encouraging and positive affirmation exercise activities in the Mighty Mindful Kids activity book. Also, create healthy family relationships.
5. And here’s something more interesting: prepare and eat meals with your children whenever possible. If time is scarce, look for simple meals that need very little preparation, or get a healthy bite such as an apple and sit for a while and talk to your child.
6. Schedule time for doing an activity of your child’s choice. Be sure to be there throughout the whole activity and complete the activity without any distractions.
7. Play with your child, even if it is during bath time or outside before you drop her off at preschool. Children love to play with their parents. Every little bit of time makes a positive impact!
8. Laugh, let go and be free to be silly with your child. Simply find your inner child, set your worries aside for a while, and focus on the present.
9. Turn off the tech when you spend time with your child. Try not to text, scroll through social media, answer calls or watch television.
10. Don’t overload. You’re exhausted by the time you come from the office or finish your daily chores. So, don’t overload your day with more work, if not it may eat into your bonding time.
Besides, don’t enroll your child in all after-school classes like tennis, swimming, dancing, drama, etc. It takes away his/her bonding time with you. Don’t overdo it!
11. Ask a series of questions.
For example: Tell me three of your favourite things about today? Learning to communicate well with your child can help you check on her wellbeing, such as whether she is depressed.
Keep it simple and connect with your child in ways that gel with your lifestyle and relationship. Each connection affects your child for a long time to come and provides the bonding and love that your child needs.
Genesis Childcare 1989
At Genesis Childcare 1989, we are passionate about children. We believe every child is unique and precious and needs to be loved and cherished. Let your child embark on a journey with our staff at Genesis Childcare 1989 and Nurture Infant House.
If you’re looking for infant care in Tampines or anywhere in the east of Singapore, do take a look at our Nurture Infant House. With over 30 years of specialized experience, we have nurtured thousands of infants, toddlers and preschoolers alike.
Genesis Childcare 1989 (Tampines)
Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-63/65 Singapore 520433
Tel: +65 9666 4141
Nurture Infant House (Tampines)
(2 to 18 months Infants)
Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-61 Singapore 520433
Tel: +65 9666 4141