Quality time with our kids … it is a little bit like gold dust, right? Kids thrive off it and you only need a little to make a huge impact.

However, time is in short supply in our multitasking, digital lives. And yes, we all know the days when the best we can do is meet our children’s most basic needs. Some days it’s nothing short of heroic simply to feed them, bathe them, keep an encouraging tone, and get them to sleep at a reasonable hour – just to do it all over again tomorrow!

Parenting can be tough, but as the first (and best) teachers throughout their lives (still no manual … sorry!) it’s our responsibility to try our best to raise well-adjusted young people. We want our kids to have respect for others, to think for themselves, to learn how to cook dinner, drive a car, pay bills and enter into loving and respectful relationships. And this is just the short list!

We all crave those moments with our kids that make our hearts melt but we spend so much time guiding – a.k.a. correcting, reminding, scolding criticizing, nagging, and yelling that we forget that attentive parents’ kids have higher self-esteem, improved academic performance, better child-parent communication, and fewer behavioural and psychological problems.

Relationship building is the single most important way to impact a child’s life. A close parent-child relationship doesn’t just happen; it takes intentional effort on the part of us as parents on a daily basis.

We’ve come up with a few ideas on how to be more present in your child’s life:

  • Do whatever you need to schedule at least 15 minutes with each child every day. Make a date. Love them equally but treat them uniquely.
  • Aim for 12 hugs every day. As family therapist Virginia Satir famously said, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” Tousle hair, pat backs, make eye contact and smile often – which is a different kind of touch.
  • Play hide and treat. What do lunchboxes and sock drawers have in common? These are two places where you can hide small treats, a note, or a little extra pocket money for the times when you catch your kids doing something good. Let them know that you are proud of them.
  • Pick your battles. Let the small stuff go. Kids can’t absorb too many rules without switching off. Listen to what is important to her. Bite your tongue if you need to, except to say, “Wow … I get that, tell me more.”
  • Make warm memories. Kids might not always remember what you say, but they will remember game nights or pancake Sunday’s.
  • Notice the good stuff. Pack on the praises.
  • Apologize when you blow it. Show your child how and when to apologize.
  • Love your spouse. Kids learn about relationships from their parents. Show them that doing small things for each other is important.

“Enjoy the little things with your kids for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” – Robert Brault

Source: kidsandvalues.com, familylife.com, ahaparenting.com, centerforparentingeducation.org, quickanddirtytips.com, parenting.com, huffingtonpost.com, , pointsoflight.org, care.com, loveandlogic.com, panworleducation.com, parentalrights.org, parenting.firstcry.com, childdevelopmentinfo.com, oxbridgeacademy.edu.za, unicef.org, ginamcclain.com, mother.ly, naeyc.org, irishexaminer.com, lifehack.com, psychologytoday.com, focusonthefamily.com, thepathway2success.com

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.