The holidays are over, the kid’s school has started, and your routine is probably back in full swing! If you are a parent like me, this structure may be bittersweet. Routine can bring normalcy and peace but often takes away some of the extra quality time and special memories we got to make with our kids over the holidays. Those moments of quality connection can help build relationships and balance out some of the stressors kids will experience in this second half of the school year, no matter their age! Are you wondering about what to do with your kids for quality time together to maximize connection in an already busy week? Check out these ten things to do with your kids!
- Utilize car rides as conversation moments. It is time you are spending together regardless; let us use it! Make sure these conversations stay upbeat and light and are not a time to have an intense and negative conversation where your child may feel trapped.
- Include them in meal planning (even if planning is “What do we have in this next hour because we’re all hangry?!”). While you can’t have pizza every night, every now and then won’t hurt, and by listening to them, they feel valued and included in the family dynamics.
- Set aside 30 minutes a week per kid for an intentional time where they can decide what you do together. The rules are no electronics, no phones, and no breaking pre-set family rules.
- Daydream together about what you want to do this summer. You will not be able to do everything, but you will most likely find something new to do together that you would have never thought of on your own!
- Reminisce about your favorite holiday memories. This activity is one of my favorites since it may surprise you what stands out to them the most.
- Make a piece of art together; even if neither of you are artists, they will have fun connecting and creating something with you.
- Create a playlist of songs you think the other might like or ones that remind you of the other – this is particularly great for teenagers!
- Look at a town map and identify the parks you want to visit. Then visit them! I love discovering new places and events this way!
- Start a conversation about things they wish were different in the house and see what you can change together. Having this conversation regularly allows you to stay in touch with minor frustrations your child may be experiencing, so it doesn’t catch you off guard later.
- Use your eyes when listening to them tell a story. It may not feel like much to you, but looking at them and putting aside electronic distractions can turn mindless banter into quality connection in seconds. This connection makes all the difference for kids – and adults too!
Which of these suggestions for quality time with your kids is your favorite? If you are struggling to know the next steps in parenting or how to connect with your teenager, reach out to us today for a free consultation! Our counselors can help you gain confidence and know how to work through parenting difficulties, from infants to teenagers to adult children!