“Oh yes, we try our best to find time for our children, however busy we are,” “I always try to be home when my children get back from school,” “We will take leave during their exams” or “I don't work, so I am with my children almost all the time” are common replies that we parents have to offer as answer to questions about whether we think we are spending enough time with our little ones.
Quality Time with parents is important for all children, and if our little ones are not getting enough, we may often find bad behavior to be their preferred mode of complaint. When they seem to be out of control for no apparent reason, we probably have to think about how much positive attention we've been paying them of late. Then, when we work out the mathematics of life honestly, we usually realise that we have to pay some more…! This is a situation most families have to face today, because more and more mothers are working, and most of us have moved from the joint family system to a nuclear family. Under the prevailing circumstances, it would probably be prudent to think of possible ways to handle the situation.
“I love you, baby” are words we use all the time while we communicate with our little ones. There's nothing wrong with saying those three little words every day to our children, over and over again. However, sometimes we can get our message through in a sincere and meaningful way if we show rather than tell, or find fun and disarming ways to sneak our feelings in. We could start by spending a little time each day playing entirely at their direction. Cuddle up under a blanket and watch what they want to watch on TV and yell and clap with them. When they are least expecting it, give a chocolate kiss along with a real one!
Finding something about their appearance to compliment on is a great bonus they wait for, so why don’t we use it? Or let us find something about their painting or dance or music to compliment. Sometimes, it really surprises them if we do one of their chores for them. Or send them an encouraging or funny note with their lunch when they go to school. Often our little ones love it when we get together and cook something together. Or talk in the car on the way to school instead of listening to the radio. Nature is a beautiful picture to share with our children, and once in a while, we could take a long walk together, at their pace. Find a video game you can play together, or do a jigsaw puzzle together. Set aside a little time each day, maybe before bedtime, to talk about what's going on in their life, judgment free. If our child don't like to talk, we could probably say "Tell me three things that happened today." If it helps, we should tell three things that happened to us in return.
A beautiful way to share time together is to find a board game we both enjoy and schedule regular tournaments. And yes, if we use a point system for rewards, we should remember to give bonus points just for being great kids. Its also great to develop a secret word or gesture that only we know the meaning of. We need to remember to take them out to lunch every now and then, just us and them. And yes, we do need to play hide and seek with them, and while we're searching talk very loudly about how sad we will be if we can't find them. Then be very happy when we're reunited. Letting the child in us surface is the best way to reach quality time.