Life is busy and between work and life responsibilities, the days pass us by in the blink of an eye. Parents have a common concern that they are not able to spend enough time with their children. They wonder if this could lead to developmental delays. Some parents feel guilty about working full time, or experience anxiety about choosing to work out at the gym or go to dinner with friends.
On top of that when you see a social media posts from stay-at-home parents who are able to take their children to the local zoo or work on colors and the alphabet with them only add to this anxiety.
But have no despair! Recent studies have shown that spending quality time is much more important than quantity of time. This is not to negate the importance of time spent with children. Children need high-quality time with parents and caregivers. Quality time spent with the parents and caregiver is most beneficial to children and it leaves a positive effect on them as they grow. It isn’t about endless hours of time but it’s about how you choose to spend that time that truly matters.
As parents and caregivers, we can make choices to ensure time spent with our children is high-quality.
9 Tips for spending quality time with your child
1. “WE” Time
Have a daily “WE” time with your child. Do this face-to-face, if possible; but if this isn’t an option, create a routine for doing so in other ways, such as leaving a note in your child’s lunch bag, posting a note by his toothbrush, or writing an encouraging saying on a shared whiteboard in the house.
2. Daily Ritual
Create a special ritual for you and your child—something that can be done every day. For example, let your child choose and read one book with you at bedtime.
3. Say the magic word daily
Tell your child you love her every day. And tell her how important she is to you and how she makes you feel.
4. Reinforce positive behavior
For example, if your child completes his chores without your asking, do acknowledge it with words of appreciation.
5. Meal Minutes
Make and eat meals with your children whenever possible. If time is limited, look for simple meals that require very little preparation, or grab a healthy snack such as an apple and sit for a few minutes and chat with your child.
6. “You Choose” Activity
Schedule time for doing an activity of your child’s choosing. Be sure to follow through and complete the activity without any distractions.
7. Play with your child
Play with your child, even if it’s during bath time or outside before you drop her off at preschool. Every little bit of time makes a positive impact!
8. Be Silly
Laugh and be silly with your child.
Turn off technology when you spend time with your child. Try not to text, answer calls, scroll through social media, or watch television.
To make your relationship stronger with your child you need to spend quality time with them, not quantity of time. Keep it simple and connect with your child in ways that make sense for your lifestyle and relationships. Each connection has a lasting impact and provides the support and reassurance* that your child needs.
Although a parent’s role in their children’s learning evolves as kids grow, one thing remains constant: we are our children’s learning models. Our attitudes about education can inspire theirs and show them how to take charge of their own educational journey.
Parent’s Role in Child’s life
“Parents can inspire kids to grow up to love learning and do well in school, by paying less attention to the actual specifics of the homework, but instead by creating learning-rich environments in and outside of the home.”
Be a role model for learning
In the early years, parents are their children’s first teachers — exploring nature, reading together, cooking together, and counting together. When a young child begins formal school, the parent’s job is to show him how school can extend the learning you began together at home, and how exciting and meaningful this learning can be. parents become their children’s learning coaches, as preschoolers grow into school age kids. Parents help their kids organize their time and support their desires to learn new things in and out of school, Through guidance and reminders.
Pay attention to what your child loves
A parent can do is notice her child. Find out if he is a talker or is he shy? Find out what interests him and help him explore it.
Tune into how your child learns
By paying attention to how your child learns, you may be able to pique his interest and explain tough topics by drawing pictures together, creating charts, building models, singing songs and even making up rhymes.
Many children use a combination of modalities to study and learn:
Some learn visually through making and seeing pictures,
others through tactile experiences, like building block towers and working with clay.
Still others are auditory learners who pay most attention to what they hear.
And they may not learn the same way their siblings (or you) do.
Practice what your child learns at school
Many teachers encourage parents to:
go over what their young children are learning in a non-pressured way, and
to practice what they may need extra help with.
This doesn’t mean drilling them for success, but it may mean:
going over basic counting skills, multiplication tables or letter recognition, depending on the needs, and
Reviewing the topics depending upon the learning level of your child. Please note, reviewing is different from being a drill machine.
And when you do review, your child should be willing to do it. There is no use of sitting for hours when your child is not present there mentally.
Set aside time to read together
Setting some time to read together really helps with:
Spending some productive time with your child
This will improve reading skills of your child.
Read aloud regularly, even to older kids.
If your child is a reluctant reader, reading aloud will expose her to the structure and vocabulary of good literature and get her interested in reading more.
You read one chapter aloud, let your child read another to himself.
Let kids pick the books they like. Book series are great for reluctant readers.
It’s OK to read easy, interesting books instead of harder novels.
Parent’s Role in Child’s life
Connect what your child learns to everyday life
Make learning part of your child’s everyday experience, especially when it comes out of your child’s natural questions.
When you drive in the car, count license plates and talk about the states.
Do measuring math, when you cook together.
When you turn on the blender, explore how it works together.
When your child studies the weather, talk about why it was so hot at the beach.
Have give-and-take conversations, listening to your child’s ideas instead of pouring information into their heads.
Connect what your child learns to the world
Find age-appropriate ways to help your older child connect his school learning to world events. Start by asking questions. For example,
ask a second-grader if she knows about a recent event, and what’s she heard.
Then ask what she could do to help (such as sending supplies to flood victims).
You might ask a younger child if he’s heard about anything in the news, and find out what he knows.
Make your child aware of the green and sustainable lifestyle.
Tell them why everyone should think about saving the planet Earth.
They should be taught to live with compassion towards all living beings around us
This will help your child become a caring learner.
Help your child take charge of his learning
Encourage your child to make decisions, be around and vigilant, and guide them if they are taking decisions that could really harm them. You can try by telling your child that:
Your child should be in charge of their learning and become responsible for it. This includes their daily home work.
We want them to be responsible for their successes and failures,
Show them how engaging learning is, and
That the motivations for learning should be the child’s intrinsic interests, not an external reward.”
Don’t over-schedule your child
While you may want to supplement school with outside activities, be judicious about how much you let or urge your child to do.
Kids need downtime as much as they may need to pursue extra-curricular activities.
If a child has homework and organized sports and music lessons to attend and then you want to enroll him to a drawing class by compromising his play time, it can quickly become a joyless race from one thing to another.
Therefore, monitor your child to see that he is truly enjoying what he is doing. If he isn’t, cut something off the schedule.
Parent’s Role in Child’s life
Keep TV to a minimum
It is thought that at present time, you get a lot of information through the internet and informative channels in T.V.
It is true that a lot of information is served to us and we enjoy that with our eyes. But for it to reach to our brains, we need to do some thinking too. And for that do need to keep yourself from a lot of screen time.
Watching lots of TV does not give children the chance to develop their own interests and explore on their own, because it controls the agenda.
Unstructured time with books, toys, crafts and friends allows children to learn how to be in charge of their agenda, and to develop their own interests, skills, solutions and expertise.
Learn something new yourself
Learning something new yourself is a great way to model the learning process for your child.
Take up a new language or craft, or read about an unfamiliar topic.
Show your child what you are learning and how you may be struggling.
You’ll gain a better understanding of what your child is going through and your child may learn study skills by watching you study.
You might even establish a joint study time.
Happy parenting is every parent’s delight.
All the best wishes to you on this amazing journey. This will surely give us an easy life.
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