This one seems like a no-brainer when it comes to quality time. That’s what it’s all about. But taking the time and effort to plan and schedule regular quality time will provide an opportunity for your child to look forward to that time as it approaches as well as enjoy it when it is happening.
1. Morning routine | Can you add just 10 minutes to your morning routine that is dedicated to your child? Maybe you do stretches together to start the day. Maybe you make sure to include him or her in the process of making breakfast. Talk about the day ahead or plan your snacks and meals together. Set a timer if it helps to make sure you are banking those special moments together.
2. Bedtime routine | Just as you can sneak in some quality time when you wake up, add some into bedtime. As kids get older it may seem like they want to be more independent and don’t need you for bedtime as much. You could still set aside time between TV, dinner, homework and bed to really focus on talking together. Read a chapter of a book together, wash your faces and brush teeth at the same time or try some yoga.
3. Take pictures together every day | Think about the last time you and your child took a selfie together. Did you giggle together? Daily selfies are kind of hilarious and addictive. At least to me…and hopefully to you and your child too. When you have a year’s worth of pictures, make a photo book!
4. Exercise together | Although your kids may not get this message, working out together is the ULTIMATE quality time to spend together. Think about it…exercising regularly adds years to your life…that’s YEARS more that you can spend together! And you get the bonus of those little snippets of bonding time during those daily workouts. Play tag, learn racquetball, shoot hoops, or if your kids are younger, push them on the swings and see how many swings they can swing while you do a lap around the yard or park.
5. Cook dinner or bake together | Cooking for a family can feel like a chore to you, but to your child who craves time with you, it’s a special time together. Sometimes it may seem easier to just do it yourself, I know. But if you work together your kids will learn lots of useful life skills in addition to getting that time with you. That hits Acts of Service too, since you are teaching your child a new skill and preparing food.
6. Get back to childhood basics | Let’s DO it. Let’s get back to childhood basics! Play doctor together. Make a box fort or an epic rocket ship together or see what else you can do with a cardboard box. If you are usually the reserved, serious parent, what a treat it would be to see you get really silly! Embrace something that really shows how happy you are to spend time together. It doesn’t have to be complex. Got a toddler? You can spend quality time with them too, and it can be super easy! Here’s the easiest way to get back to basics and play with a toddler!
7. Play at the playground | Don’t get lost in your phone or chat with the other parents (both of which I do very often) but actually PLAY with the kids. Be the one who organizes the hide and seek game or start a slide style competition. (I just made that up. Take turns going down the slide, making different poses. See who is the most awesome. Repeat.) The point is it’s okay to be silly sometimes in the name of quality time.
8. Family movie night – It may seem like exactly the opposite of the Tech Time Out, but planning a special family movie night can make you a stronger family! It is more than just laying around watching TV. You can add some fun printable popcorn boxes, snuggle up on the couch, turn down the lights and watch a special new movie. Maybe you can take turns picking which one? Planning is part of what makes it special, so talk about it ahead of time and maybe snap a picture to remember the fun!