Lately I pretty much only spend time with my kids. I’ve given up on girls nights outs and even the dinner out with the hubs has become rare. But the time I spend with my kids is rarely quality time. See me most weeknights with my hair up in a ponytail, my yoga pants still on since the morning, no make-up and glasses. I’m the receiver of requests: “Mom, can you quiz me?”, “Mom, tomorrow I need lunch for a field trip!”, “Mom, tomorrow is poem day and I need a poem for my pocket.” These little tasks end up absorbing most of the evening hours. I’m together with all five of my kids but not necessarily talking in a meaningful way with any of them as an individual.
Ironically, one of the aspects of our family life which has brought us the most stress – travel soccer — has also made it possible for me to spend one-on-one quality time with my kids and done wonders for the parent child relationship in our house. On weekends, Marc and I are essentially assigned to 1-2 kids on Saturdays and Sundays to drive them to their practices and games. (We’re also forever indebted to the fellow parents who have helped our family so much when it comes to transport).
Out of a chaotic household where lunch plates sat un-cleaned on the kitchen counter, and Monopoly money remained spewed across the living room floor, stepped Lachlan (12) and I yesterday to head to his game in Port Chester, NY. After having plugged the address for his game into Waze, I realized we were in for a one-hour drive. The return with traffic ended up taking 1.5 hours. We left at 12pm and returned at 5pm.
Lachlan’s team had it handed to them in the game. Stronger, faster and more experienced, the other team won 3 to 0. Our team hung in there, improving in the second half. Having been up late the night before, Lachlan looked tired to me and I sat there dreading the evening ahead of helping him study for a history test.
Nothing was perfect and yet everything was. Why? Well, I spent five hours alone (apart from the game) with my guy. We talked in a place where no one could interrupt. I cheered him on from the stands with words of encouragement, trying not to be “that mom” who yells too much. Even though they lost, Lachlan exited the field with a big smile.
Why Quality Time With Your Child Matters
One on one time with kids is a beautiful thing. No matter how or where it takes place, it somehow communicates to your child that they matter to you. When you’re the second of five, you don’t get too much to yourself. I could tell that those hours mattered to my son.Whether you have one or five kids, whether you work full-time outside the home or work as a mom, find a way as often as you can to spend quality time with your child. It might be a task as small as making a quick run to the grocery store. It might mean walking the dog. It might mean giving your kid an apron and having them help you with dinner. Check in with your kid: ask them how school is going, what is up with friends, what they’re eating for lunch. Get them talking. Whatever, wherever and however it takes place, time spent with your child away from other distractions will make your child a more secure person and you a happier, more fulfilled parent.Thanks for reading and make sure to enter our giveaway below!
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