Your life is always one big rush. You’re running to prepare breakfast, you’re running to ship your kids off to school, you’re running to work, then you’re doing the chores, then there’s that appointment you have to get to, and then there are a million more errands in the day that you have to finish! There’s never enough time for anything, and before you realize it, your child’s birthday is coming up and you wonder – when did they get to grow up so much? It’s a big modern age problem, that stressful, hectic rush that often makes us forget about the important things in life. So, how do we deal with it? How do we bring more balance and be present for our kids whenever they need us? Well, we’ve got a few tips and ideas that could help.
Ask your child for help
The most boring of all the chores could actually become quite fun if you use it as a bonding opportunity. Just like adults, children love feeling useful and needed, so asking them to help you bake some cookies or send the mail by placing stamps on all the envelopes is a great way to spend time together. You’ll be teaching them the basics of household chores, and if you let them know that their help is really appreciated and keep joking around and chatting as you work, they’ll be eager to help out every time. Yes, it might be a little frustrating in the beginning because they’ll be making mistakes, and a simple chore that could’ve taken you ten minutes will now take you half an hour. However, bear in mind that they’re learning, and that they want to do well, so this could be a great opportunity to teach them how to fix a mistake and do things better. After a while, they’ll become skilled enough and be truly helpful to you.
Start a project together
Get creative! Grab an empty cardboard box and decorate it together so it resembles a spaceship, a car, or a castle. Paint with your fingers, or arrange fruit baskets for relatives, or make beaded necklaces – the possibilities to connect through art are endless. This will let them express themselves and nurture their own creativity, not to mention how fun it can be for you.
Get physically active
Hey, why not kill two birds with one stone? Get your workout in and bond with your child by exercising together. You can show them how to do basic warm ups and stretches, you could go on bike rides, or you could teach them how to play sports. Babies can be included as well! Prepare some cozy baby wraps and bring your small darling with you as the whole family goes on a long walk in the park. Get that fresh air, stretch your limbs, and burn calories as you bond with your family and teach them to enjoy being active.
Family game nights
Board games are one of children’s favorite pastimes, and you can easily make it a whole family experience if you want to. The days where Monopoly was the only game in the market are long gone, and now there is a ton of options that you can try that aren’t quite so belligerent. We recommend that you pick games like Dixit or Arabian Nights which encourage storytelling and imagination, or something like Flick ‘Em Up, which requires some dexterity and is immensely fun even when you’re doing really badly. Ticket to Ride and Sheriff of Nottingham are also fun, as well as Forbidden Island which is cooperative so you won’t have to go against each other. Board games are also an opportunity to teach your kid how to handle loss and obtain some good socializing skills.
Dinner as a tradition
If there is one thing that should be every family’s tradition, it’s sharing a meal. It doesn’t necessarily need to be dinner (for some families breakfast is easier to pull off), but spending time with your child over delicious food and discussing your day is not only a great bonding experience, but it also brings some stability into their life. No matter what, they’ll know they can always come home to dinner and have their family gathered around. Better yet, they could help you prepare the meal and then feel proud once you all sit down to eat.
Time’s always fleeting, so it’s important to keep your priorities in mind. Find at least half an hour every day to take a break and just chat with your kids, listen to them talk about their interests, ask them how they’re doing, or request their opinion on something. Make them feel included and you’ll have one happy family.