Parenting: How to spend quality time with kids
As working adults, it’s not easy to get away from work obligations as often as you’d like. More often than not, you end up bringing your work home, but try not to make it a habit. Your kids are undoubtedly your most important asset. They may not add value to your bank account, but when you stop and think about how much time you have left before they go off to college, you’ll want to put them on top of your priority list. As they get older, they’re bound to end up spending more time outside the house than inside, and though that’s completely normal, it really cuts down the time you get to spend with them. You don’t have to be joint at the hip, but these small everyday ideas will help you spend more time with them and foster a healthier relationship.
1. No more homework groans
The word may remind you of school, when you had to get back home and do twenty math sums before going out to play, but the minute you open your laptop to check an email from your boss, that counts as homework too. There’s no way out, so try to make the best of this time. Sit with your child while they’re doing their homework or projects, and try to finish your office work in that time too. Watching you work will help your child realize that homework is a normal part of life, and he just might stop cribbing about it. If you’re lucky enough to not have to work from home, sit with them regardless. Watching and helping them out with their work ensures you have a fair idea of your child’s learning pace, and you can build up on their weak areas. Show a genuine interest in their school life, and they won’t look at it as a burden anymore. Always feel free to indulge in some gossip sessions, share with them stories of anything interesting that happened during the day. They want to be a part of your life as much as you want to be a part of theirs.
2. Media connect
Get with the times. Everybody has access to social media, and it is addicting. Some of you may want quality time with your children sans technology, but now that it’s an integral part of everyone’s life, why not use it to your advantage? They definitely would not want you following them on Snapchat or Instagram but that’s okay. FaceTime or Skype your kids when you’re away, drop a message on WhatsApp once in awhile asking them how their day was. You’ll find that technology isn’t such a bad thing after all.
3. Volunteer to be the chauffeur
Make it a point to drive your kids to play dates or simply to the mall when they want to get out with their friends. It may include taking a detour from your office route, or simply giving up your afternoon nap on a sunday, but do it nonetheless. As they grow older, maybe drive them to concerts, you’ll thank yourself later when they just ask for the car keys and not a lift. Try to pick up their friends on the way, and use this time to interact with them both, you’ll see a new side of them when their friends are around. Getting stuck in traffic suddenly never sounded better.
Once a week, take your family out to dinner. If you have absolutely no time on your hands, take them out for paani puri or chaat. Keep driving and explore small eating joints around the city, and if nothing appeals to you, Dominos will always have your back. Just try and get out of the house with them once in a while, it brings a pleasant change for you and for them, a way to escape your everyday routine. Never say no to a drive to the ice cream parlour after dinner.