Parents and children can be in one another’s presence around the clock and not have any quality memories. If you are a parent who doesn’t actively engage with your children they may wonder if you genuinely like being a parent. On the other hand, there are parents who can’t get enough time with their kids because they have careers that keep them from being home often. Parents who have gone through an online masters in public administration program often have to sleep at their offices in order to meet their full job duties. If they get to spend just an hour or so connecting with their kids, they most certainly want to make the time count.
Pick an Activity That Makes You Focus on Each Other
Do your children love a good mental challenge? Then pull out the chess board and prepare to play a few games together. The same goes for silly video games that leave you out of breath. Children benefit from being with their parents when they are focused on each other. You need your children to know that they are vitally important to you, so make it your parenting goal to focus on them and only them when together. When your schedule is free, tell your friends that you need to meet up at another time, don’t think about work, and make yourself only available to your kids.
Keep Outside Distractions Out
Anyone who has an online MPA degree realizes that being off the clock doesn’t equate to being off the job. Your cell phone is going to ring when you’re with your children, but you don’t need to acknowledge it in all situations. If you have told your employer that you are going to be busy with your children, then you should feel comfortable being unavailable for a while. Don’t check your email, let your text remain unread, and turn your ringer on silent when you are doing fun activities with your children. This way, they won’t feel ignored and will know that you value the quality time that you have with them.
Spend Individual Time Together with Your Kids
Parents with more than one kid will have a special bond with each of their offspring. Unfortunately, some children will feel like they are not getting individual attention and recognition if you always spend your time together as a group. Take one child out for ice cream if you both share a love of ice cream sundaes. Get tickets for an action movie to see with another child when the next Hollywood blockbuster comes out. Find out what you have in common with each of your children and do things together.
Every year that your child grows is a year that they become closer to growing up. It may be another 15 years before your child leaves your home, but you want every moment to be remembered post-adolescence. Have fun conversations as well as lazy days just enjoying one another’s company for as long as your kids are still kids.