Spending time with young children is easy because they so often want to be as much a part of our lives as possible! Create time out of your daily routines for these simple activities making it Family time!
1. Have Dinner
Make it a point to leave work or schedule work for later in the evening so that you can make it home in time to sit down to dinner together. Eating dinner as a family allows you to be a part of their daily conversations and to answer any questions they may have come across during the day when you were apart.
2. Fix Things Together
Is the kitchen sink broken? Do you need to paint the study room wall? Children love to help fix things. To us, it may seem like a mundane task, but to most kids, it’s a wonderful chance to see what’s under the kitchen sink, to understand how a faucet works and just to cover an entire wall in paint. Fixing things together allows you to plan for the project and also gives you lots of time to interact.
3. After Dinner Walks
If you’ve already made time to have dinner with your kids, why not spend another 30 minutes going on a walk with them after dinner? In Singapore, this is the coolest and most pleasant time of the day. Once the table is cleared and the dishes are washed, go for a walk around your neighbourhood. Talk about the changes you see and what your children observe around them as you go on these walks. The act of walking whilst you talk may actually make it easier for children to bring up difficult topics or problems they face because they have something else (like walking) to focus on when they bring these subjects up.
4. Leave a Message
Children love surprises, so if you don’t have the time to see them in the morning before you leave for work, leave a short video or note for them to find. They will be thrilled to get a message from you and you will have had a chance to show that you are sorry you couldn’t spend the morning with them, but that you value it so much that you made an effort to leave them a surprise note or message.
5. Read together
Reading to your children or even companionably reading books together for half an hour each night are a great way to spend time together. Choosing books to read and discussing them are ways to share ideas and values with your children.
6. Bring Your Child to School or Class
Make it a point to bring your child to school or to any extra classes they may have. Doing this regularly allows you to spend more time together. Make travel time, together time!
7. Plan a Monthly Excursion
Think of a new place to visit each month. Perhaps it’s a museum? A theme park or a water adventure park? Get your children to help you to plan the excursion.
8. Share Family Stories
Find time to share stories about your family’s history. Dig out your old photo albums and look through them with your children. Add new pictures to the family collection together and make this a regular activity.