A vast majority of parents (including me) carry mammoth guilt of not being able to spend time with our kids and showering them the attention they should receive from us. Each one of us is so busy with the daily grind of the job, home and family responsibilities that we end up ignoring our kids despite being aware of the fact.
When the pandemic compelled us to stay and work from home, we thought we would now be able to bond better with our children. But how many of us were able to do that? The pandemic brought its share of worries and additional duties to shoulder. Where does this situation leave our kids?
Well, let me first assure you that you are not a bad parent if you think so. You are just a parent trying to juggle many balls together to keep the family boat afloat. So, even if you are just able to spend an hour or two or maybe less with your child, do not fret about it. Focus on the quality of time, not the quantity.
Let me share some of my parenting experiences to help you navigate through this dilemma.
Eat Meals Together
Each family member has his or her schedule, but do try to eat at least one meal of the day together. Leave all the gadgets aside during this time and give your kids undivided attention. Ask them how their day went or what they are planning to do that day. This will give them a sense of family belonging.
Follow a Family Fitness Routine
Before the load of the world engulfs you for the day, get up early in the morning to exercise with your kids. It could be a walk, jogging, yoga, cycling or any other fitness activity for just 30-40 minutes. It is a great way to connect with your kids.
My husband works long hours. But every morning, he makes sure to take our daughter along with him for jogging to spend quality time together.
Watch a Movie
So what if you can’t go to the cinema halls at present due to COVID-19? There are plenty of family-friendly movies you can watch on television channels, Amazon, Netflix, Disney Hotstar, etc. Grab a huge bowl of popcorn or snacks, cuddle up in blankets with your kids and you all are set to enjoy a good time together.
Cook Something New Every Week
Though I have a cook who comes to my home to prepare daily meals, I take over the kitchen on weekends. I ask my daughter to dig up a new recipe and we both make it together right from chopping vegetables to serving the final dish on the platter.
Cooking a meal together not only deepens the parent-child bonding, but it also trains them in important life skill.
When was the last time you bought your inner child out and let yourself loosen up? When you play with your kids – be it cards, board game or even silly games, it makes them happy. They also get to see the playful and juvenile side of you.
Depending on the age of your child and your schedule, you can do several other activities together:
- Read aloud a book
- Tell a story
- Sing or dance
- Join a hobby class
- Have heart-to-heart conversations
- Help in school homework, projects or assignments
- Go for a day picnic or a vacation
Honestly, it doesn’t matter how you spend time with your kids. The important thing is that you make a conscious effort to do it.