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Ten Ways Working Moms Can Spend Quality Time with Their Preschooler
Does it seem like moms are busier than ever these days or are we just complaining about it more? With the popularity of social media, and other outlets, it is perceived that a day in the life of a mom is oftentimes stressed-filled, and our already limited time is becoming more and more crunched. Sadly, it’s even more difficult to find quality time to spend with our kids, especially for moms who work outside of the home.
According to research, spending quality time with your child is a great way to help bolster their self-esteem, which, in turn, helps them develop confidence. An article in Delicious Living Magazine points out that a good relationship with your children, based on quality time rather than quantity time, helps them reach their potential and grow into well-adjusted and confident adults.
So, how do we make room for “quality time” when it often feels like every minute of our day is already taken? Fortunately, there are many moments throughout the day that busy moms can easily turn into quality time. All it takes is a little imagination and insight. Below are ten inventive ideas on how to plan those quality moments and create lasting memories.
1. Greet Them Warmly When They Wake Up
Even if your little munchkins wake you up too early, or rise to the moody morning blues, express genuine happiness to see them by setting the right atmosphere. Put your little ones in a pleasant frame of mind by having them do some simple stretches in bed, like raising their arms over their heads, or rolling their shoulders back. Spend quality, eye-to-eye time hanging out and talking to them before it’s time to get ready for the day. Ask them how they slept, or if they’re looking forward to school, etc. Set the tone for the day by starting them off on the right foot.
2. Give Lots of Physical Affection
Give your kids lots of hugs and kisses in the morning, and before leaving for daycare or school. Studies suggest that a mother’s affection toward her child helps them become more open and affectionate and it increases the likelihood that they’ll have more friends. And, keep the warmth going all throughout the day, even when they get home. Allow extra moments for giggles and grins and snuggles and hugs, because a minute or two of laughter goes a long way in the quality time department.
3. Take the Scenic Route
If you drive your kids to or from school, don’t go the same way. Take a left turn, instead of a right; keep straight instead of making a U-turn. Find a route that is different and unique, but close to your destination. Make the drive fun. You can even pretend to be the train conductor and ask them where they want to go. Or, you can make the drive educational. Ask them to count how many trees they see, or how many clouds are in the sky. As you’re enjoying each other’s company you can chat about the day, fitting in your chance to ask tons of open-ended questions that will help you and your little ones bond.
4. Take Them to Get a Treat
Before heading straight home after school make a quick stop at the Supermarket, or frozen yogurt shop and let them pick out an after-dinner treat. This will be a great time to let them know that they need to eat all of their veggies so they can indulge in the delicacy they just selected.
5. Exercise with Them
We all need it, so why not make it family fun? Find one of the kid’s favorite DVD’s, pop it in and do fun dance exercises together. Take turns showing off your best dance moves. Record the fun on your phone or with a video camera and let them watch themselves in action. Spend 15 minutes working up a hearty appetite before dinner.
6. Make Dinnertime a Special Event
Make dinner an event to look forward to. Let them help you set the table, even if it’s just folding the napkins and setting out plastic ware. Or, perhaps choose one night per week where you pretend you’re at a make-believe restaurant and hand out menus and take their order. This is also another great time to let them talk about the highlights of their day.
7. Make Bath Time Fun Time
It only takes a few extra minutes to turn a bath into a blast of fun. Let them play with toys while getting sudsy. Sing with them; share with them about their day; laugh with them. This is also a good opportunity to praise them. Tell them what a great job they did listening, or how happy you were that they shared with their sister. Find ways to affirm your little darlings, while you’re teaching them how fun it is to get clean.
8. Plan a Fun After-Dinner Game or Activity
Before they go down for the night plan a fun board game or activity to do with them, like coloring or drawing. If you can get the entire family onboard then all the better. These special events are times they won’t forget.
9. Make Prayer Time Impactful
Prayer time is a great way to spend meaningful time with your kids. It’s also a way to teach them to think about other people and their needs. When they’re praying for grandma and grandpa, or their teachers then it allows them to have a different perspective. Adolescents are naturally self-focused so these moments allow them to be selfless, and will help them grow into a more caring adult.
10. Read to Them before Bed
Research has shown that reading to your child increases their ability to learn, plus they have a higher success rate in school. According to TLC, reading promotes language acquisition, literacy development and achievement in reading comprehension. With all of those wonderful benefits, reading a book to your child is definitely worth its weight in words.
Quality time spent with your children does not have to be a time-constraining production; in fact, there are infinite possibilities on how to fit in fun on a limited schedule. With a little ingenuity you can sprinkle in quality time throughout your child’s day. So, begin now and create special moments, for you and your little ones, that will build a lifetime of memories.