As a mom of two with a long to do list every day, giving my kids undivided attention isn’t something I’m naturally good at. And while hard to admit, faking quality time is something I’ve been guilty of in the past. You know what I’m talking about: turning on a show for the kids to watch while you browse social media and calling it “quality time,” then feeling guilty at the end of the night when they’re crying for your attention because it in fact lacked quality AND actual time together.
As I watch my kids grow up before my eyes, I realize how important it is for me to be truly present. I’ve had to practice, make myself aware and really make an effort to put down my phone, stop texting, cooking, cleaning, folding laundry… and just be present.
Making a conscious effort to be truly present with your kids will not only make you feel better as a parent, your children will also be calmer and happier, knowing they don’t have to win a battle with your phone or household chores for your attention.
Need some quick and easy ideas for spending quality time with your kiddos? Here are 3 easy ways to fit in some meaningful quality time everyday, even if you only have 5 minutes:
1. Have a daily “connect time,” completely screen free. Talk about the day, a recent movie you both saw, or simply play a game of your child’s choice.
2. Create a special ritual for you and your child, something that can be done every day. Whether it’s brushing your teeth together each morning, dancing to your favorite song, or cuddling up with a book before bed.
3. Make mealtime a family affair. Parents are most likely prepping meals anyway, so involving your children makes it fun, while teaching them responsibility as well, not to mention they’ll be more likely to feel excited about eating a meal they helped prepare!