5 actions you can take today that will give your children the attention they hunger for, without needing to find more time!
Yes, our kids demand our time, and I know, it’s exhausting to think where on earth we’ll find it. Our best intentions are there, but the pace of the lives we live today just cause it to slip right through our fingers, and then we end up as “guilty adults” with what feels like “neglected children”.
First, we must remember, that what our children are really after, is more of our attention, not necessarily our ‘time’. Read here for more on this.
But for now, here are 5 ways to give them more TODAY!
Time in the car. We need to travel anyway! Time in the car is the best place to give your child your attention, and have their love-bucket filled before you even drop them off to start their day. You can do this by singing together, playing “I spy”, having conversations, making up stories together that are creative and fun. All of this makes your child feel like they not only “rode” in the car with you, but they actually HAD TIME with you!
Love notes. Give them little love notes in their lunch box, hidden in their diary, in random places, at random times so they can never expect it. Even just knowing you THINK of them, makes them feel like they get more of your time! Another way of doing this, if your child has an ipad, or ipod, record them a quick video message and leave it on their bed for them, or at the breakfast table.
Dinner time. You need to cook, and eat anyway. Be ON PURPOSE with this time. Have them stand in the kitchen with you while you cook – not to help you, but just so you can talk. Ask them about their day, or talk about whatever is relevant in their life. Around the dinner table (if you happen to eat at the same time as your kids), turn off all electronic devices including the TV, and don’t just ‘eat’… give them your attention, while you eat!
Chores. What jobs need to be done around the house that you could do together? “If chores feel like love, children will love their chores”. Bring “love” into chores by:
- Folding washing – get your child to fold washing with you, but make it feel like you’re talking moreso than folding… If your child is small, get them to sort the washing while you fold, all the while, chatting together!
- Put music on and dance and sing while you are tidying up. Make it feel like a ‘music session’, not a ‘clean up’ session.
Timed “break time”. Set a timer. Even just 10 or 15 minutes. During this time everyone is allowed to be loud, to play, to laugh, whatever, but it must be ‘together’. Give kids 2 minute notice before the alarm is about to go off so it doesn’t come as a surprise. Be ON PURPOSE with this time. Jump on the bed, play roly-poly games, jump on trampoline, or if you need quiet time, just read. It’s only a few minutes, but it fills everyone’s love bucket, including yours! When the timer goes off, “break time” stops. I find the timer great because the children never feel like YOU ended play time… it was the buzzer that ended it! So you don’t get their persistent nagging for more!