All children need their parents, but this is more than just seeing mom or dad when there is time, or when they aren’t too busy. Just being in the same room as your children isn’t enough; you need to be truly present with them, and enjoy quality time with them, so that you can bond and so that they (and you) have wonderful memories of growing up to look back on. A parent who is truly engaged with their children is going to teach them a lot more about life, even without meaning to, than a parent who is never there, or who is always distracted. Here are some great ways to spend more quality time with your children and give them a great start in life.
Get Enough Sleep
Ideally, an adult should be sleeping for between seven and eight hours a night, although some will need more and some less, depending on the individual. Finding these hours can be difficult when you have children; by the time they are in bed, most people will want a little time to themselves which can often mean going to bed later. However, many parents also want to get up before the kids in the morning in order to get things ready for the day, and that means that the number of hours of sleep they get can be truncated. If this goes on for too long, you can become unwell; lack of sleep can increase the risk of developing some cancers, type II diabetes, and high blood pressure, for example.
Lack of sleep will also mean that you are less present when you are awake. You will be more easily distracted and your children won’t have the best of you. Therefore, it’s best to get an early night at least two or three times a week if you can.
Look After Your Health
Being healthy is something that everyone needs to think about, but when you are a parent, it’s not just for your own good that you need to keep fit and eat well. It’s for your children too; if you are unwell, then you won’t be able to be with them as you need to be, and that can have a detrimental effect on their childhoods. To keep healthy, you should eat a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruit and vegetables and as few takeouts and processed items as possible.
Exercise is just as important as eating well, and regular exercise is something that parents should definitely take part in. It could be a class or going to the gym, or it could simply be taking a brisk walk around the block. As long as you keep moving, you will be eliminating the calories that you consume. If you are feeling unwell, it is important to see a medical professional who will be able to prescribe the right medication or talk to you about a cannabis dispensary depending on what the issue might be. Ignoring any symptoms of poor health is bad for you and your relationship with your children.
Stop Using Your Phone
Smartphones are a massive distraction in our modern lives, and we can easily become addicted. Sometimes we may start looking at our social media feeds or checking for text messages and emails without even realizing that we are doing it. Therefore, if that sounds like something you might do when you are with your children, it’s best to put that phone somewhere out of reach, ideally in a different room. You need to make your children know that they are your main priority, not Facebook, Twitter, or anything else. It will be good for you to be without the phone, especially if you use it to check your work messages. No one needs to be at work every day of the week, 24 hours a day. You should also turn off your TV (unless you’re watching a movie together!), tablet, laptop, and other devices.
If you want to take photos of your children and usually use your phone, this can lead to you falling back into the habit of using social media or looking at emails. It’s better to invest in a cheap digital camera instead as this will only do the job it is meant to do.
Look For Simple Things
Not every day can be filled with excitement or a trip out somewhere, and neither should it be as it can be extremely expensive, not to mention tiring. If you go out all the time, it can become boring too, and there will be no surprises left. Therefore, you can find the simple things in life and use those to bond with your children instead. Just a trip to the grocery store, for example, can be the perfect time to spend quality time with your children. On the journey, you can chat about your day or point things out that you can see, and at the store, you can discuss what you need to buy and what dishes you are going to make. Perhaps you can even cook those dishes together when you get back home.
Look At Your Children
When your children are telling you something or asking a question, it can be so easy not to look up from what you are doing when you answer them. However, this can be the best way of fully engaging with your child. You may hear their voice and think you know how they are feeling, but until you look into their eyes, you won’t be able to understand the full meaning of what they are saying.
If you are really too busy to look up for the moment then it’s better to ask them to wait until you can really listen to them before they ask their question (unless it’s urgent, of course). When you look at your child as they speak you are reassuring them that what they are saying really does matter, and that will give them confidence in other aspects of their life.
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