I love the post I just read from Inner Child Fun (formerly Frugal Family Fun) blog. It’s called 10 Creative Ways to Make Time For Your Kids. This is a subject very near and dear to my heart that I feel is very important but sometimes seems so elusive!
1. We have started unplugging. This has more than one benefit. First, it provides a lot of free time to interact and play with the kids with out the distractions of emails, TV programs or computer games. Second, here in the Oklahoma city area our power company is offering big savings for those of us that sign up to not use much power during their peak hours over the summer. We must go low on the power grid from 2 – 7 to really reap the benefits.
2. We utilize waiting times. We spend a huge amount of our time waiting so why not use that time to make it more beneficial. The boys and I have more waiting time than my daughter as we are typically waiting on her with different activities she is in. Every Tuesday is waiting on Savannah during her horse lesson so we spend that time playing cars or take funny pictures of ourselves and such. Wednesday we wait during sisters band lesson and during that time we go to the library and pick out new books for the week, play together in their children’s play area. There are so many waiting moments you can play with your children. Even if its only for a few minutes.
3. I like the Inner Childs idea of scheduling it in but this is something I haven’t incorporated yet but may work on in the near future. We seem to have a hard time scheduling and keeping up with schedules.
4. I love working with my little ones. As they get older they seem less and less interested in this as an option. 🙂 My 3-year-old loves Monday’s doing his chores. His chore is taking out the little trashes. I bring the big trash up next to the porch and open the lid for him. He gathers up all the little trash cans and pulls out the little bag inside and I tie it shut for him and he goes out the front door and throws it in the big trash. Then I spray the inside of the cans and put in a new bag and he puts them all back away. He feels so proud of himself and is helping me and spending time with me all at the same time. Even at this young age they like to feel helpful.
5. I like this just say Yes idea and do try to follow by it when possible. Right now since we just initiated the going un-plugged schedule into our days they know they will have a lot of free time come 2 o’clock so they typically wait for that time and play their other plugged in games during the morning hours.
6. Eat together. We always eat together (sometimes hubby’s not home) and go unplugged. We all sit down to lunch and supper together. We say a prayer and all say what we are thankful for and eat our supper together and clean up before going back to our personal (sometimes) activities. Since we homeschool and the kids wake up at different times we don’t always eat breakfast together. My 12-year-old is woke up at 8 if she isn’t already up to eat, do chores and start schoolwork. Usually the boys or at least one of them has already been up for at least an hour so I have fed him already and many times I only have my coffee for breakfast.
7. Car rides – A perfect time to connect. We usually prefer quiet time in the car so we can chit-chat with each other. We go with out the radio on most of the time and just catch up on little things or sing silly songs together or what not.
8. Have a date night- My husband was really good about this for a long time and made separate date nights with the kids but recently we haven’t kept up with it. We have, however, had family dates. 🙂 Like last weekend we all went downtown to the river walk and went on the river boat, had lunch and ice cream at the Marble Slab. It was a lot of fun
9. Make time together on the go. This one falls back to number 2 and 7 for me. We just try to make the time we have together, no matter where we are going, fun.
10. Have a special bedtime routine. Ugh, I really need to work on this one some more but we are getting there. We power off at 10 and start the VCR to record their favorite, Teen Titans cartoon and brush our teeth. I typically have them in their pj’s by this time. We brush our teeth and I go lay down with the boys for a few minutes and they are out. Ryker plays with my hair and passes out and Ryan just snuggles up and falls asleep. It doesn’t normally take more than 10 minutes and they are both out. I really don’t mind doing this at all because I know all too soon spending such quality snuggle time with them will be hard to get.
I hope you all have a wonderful week and get lots of snuggle time.