Spending quality time with your kids

Reap the benefits

When you become a mum, almost 100% of your time and decisions revolve around your kids. You want the best for them; the best opportunities, the best life experiences, the best memories, the best future. The best chance to become the best person they can be. Successful, emotionally resilient adults who love learning and strive to push their limits. Who feel safe and empowered within themselves to conquer the rollercoaster of life, pick themselves up, and come out stronger on the other side through self-discovery and empathy.

With this comes a lot of pressure and stress. But seriously, who has time for that? You’re busy juggling a hundred different things! Between work, groceries, cooking, laundry, soccer practice, homework, school projects and life in general, you might be stuck wondering if you can achieve all your parenting goals with only 24 hours in the day and limiting your coffee intake.

It’s easy to get bogged down by your to-do and feel like we barely even have time for ourselves.

You spend plenty of time with your children; however, is it real quality time? Spending quality time with your children is about bonding and giving them your undivided attention while doing what they like to do. Spending quality time with your kids does not have to be a huge undertaking to be effective and meaningful.

However, we must schedule recurring quality family time with our children. I promise it can be far less stressful and less time-consuming than you think.

Quality time together tells our kids (big and little, our partners, our friends, and anyone else significant in our lives) that we care about them. It has also proven to be beneficial to kids’ development and happiness.

What’s quality time?

Quality time is all about mindfully spending time together to show your appreciation & affection to those who are important to you. It’s giving our 100% undivided attention to someone. Quality time can be spent doing something our kids love, like playing together in the backyard, a favourite board game, cooking a meal together, and my personal favourite, reading a book.

Spending time with your kid shows them that you love and value them. It promotes their confidence and self-worth.
Connecting with you will help them develop a sense of belonging and build a positive identity and sense of self.

READ LEARN LOVE TIP!

100% undivided means no phone, even for pictures, as painful as it sounds. The research shows how our phones have become a constant source of distraction, whether or not we’re actually using them if they are within view. 

My then 3-year-old went through a phase of “No mummy, put your phone down”. He was distraught every time he saw me with my phone. He didn’t understand that I was looking up a video of a tiger roaring to go along with the book we were reading. To him, it was just mummy on her phone AGAIN. 

So put away your phone, like away other room in a drawer away, and just be present!

The benefits of quality time

Quality time together tells our kids that we care about them and has also proven beneficial to their development and happiness. Here are 3 excellent benefits we can ‘magically’ achieve by just spending reoccurring, scheduled, one-on-one time with the kids (psst like reading aloud…)

1. Fewer Behaviour Issues

Kids who spend quality time with their parents are less likely to have behaviour issues within the family and at school. More of your undivided attention can lead to fewer arguments, and family fights will be less severe, which can lead to more time to do the things you enjoy because you’re spending less time dealing with bad behaviour.

Kids who are well-loved, well-adjusted, and well-adjusted are less likely to disobey at school. Kids are also statistically less likely to exhibit risky behaviour, including drug use, when they spend quality time with their families.

2. Improved Mental and Emotional Health

Kids need to feel loved and cared for; we all do. The best way to be present in your children’s lives is to spend time with them regularly. It’s not enough to only be there for important occasions or crises; children need love and attention regularly to become mentally and emotionally strong individuals.

Kids learn by example. They learn how to interact with others based on what they see at home (and read in books – hint hint). It’s crucial to not only tell our kids we love them but to actually show that we do. The easiest way to do this is to spend quality time together as a family.

My mum visiting from overseas and reading to my eldest

3. Physical Health

Studies have shown that spending time with our kids can improve their physical health. A study published in American Pediatrics journal concluded that poor quality mother-and-child relationships early in life, such as the mother not comforting the baby enough, resulted in a 2.45 times higher risk of obesity for the child (Anderson et al.).

Family meal time will also help to keep our kids healthy. Having them help prepare dinner is a great way to include some family time together while teaching them the value of having a healthy lifestyle. Eating together will keep our children from snacking too much or eating unhealthy foods at home.

It’s great and all, but who has the time?

I want you to know that you do. 10 minutes is all you need. Reading aloud is your parenting superpower. 

It is scientifically proven to be the most effective thing parents can do to help prepare their children to succeed in school and in the future.

In 10 minutes a day, you gain the ability to increase your child’s self-esteem, improve their academic and professional success, boost their imagination, and build critical thinking skills, mindfulness, and empathy. Providing them with a safe space to explore their emotions, learn positive social interactions, and gain insight into difficult life lessons while improving their listening skills, comprehension, and focus.

Did I mention it reduces your stress, anxiety, and mum guilt?

I bet you never realised just how powerful you are.

“You may have tangible wealth untold: Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I, you can never be — I had a mother who read to me.” – Strickland Gillilan