When you talk about having quality time with your kids, it's almost inevitable that the question comes up, "How do I find the time to do that?" I used to think of quality time as being hours of uninterrupted time together. And while that can be true, it can also be much simpler. I had to re-think what it meant to have Quality Time and this is my new definition:
Quality Time means I'm giving my child my full attention and engagement. I'm not distracted by my iPhone, the TV or the iPad. I'm not making a mental grocery list. I'm living in this moment with my child. Sometimes that's hard. But I guarantee you, when I choose not to be fully engaged, my child knows it and feels it.
This week, we had a lot going on and it would have been easy to let the week go by without some QT. So, how did we do it?
One of my tasks this week was to make treats for my four-year old class party at school. I could have just made them after bedtime, but she jumped at the chance to be in the kitchen with Mama. We had some great conversation, some skill building and most of all, time spent fully engaged with one another.
Here are a few other ways we squeeze in quality time:
Bedtime snuggles: Ask questions, say your prayers, give hugs and kisses, sing bedtime songs or whatever you do in your family. But be all there. My two-year old now has a "set list" in her head of the songs she wants me to sing. And I sing them every time because it's our chance to connect.
Rest Time: When Little Sister naps, Big Sister and I will often read books or play games together. This one-on-one time with her is often just the thing to stop a "case of the grumps" in its tracks.
Bath Time: This is one I need to work on...I usually get bored during bath time with my kids. :/ I mean, it's hard to engage when I'm trying not to get soaked by soapy bath water! But I'm going to make more of an effort to sit there and talk to them or tell stories and listen to theirs while they soak and play.
So tell me, how do you fit in those special moments with your kids when life is crazy-busy? Please share! I'd love to hear how you're making time for meaningful connections!