Between the time commitments of work and personal life, it can be very hard to find time to spend with your kids. But if you keep letting time go by without setting aside some quality time with your children, their childhoods can pass by before you know it. If you are feeling that the days and weeks go by and you don’t know what’s going on in your children’s lives, it’s time to make a change. Fortunately, there are some simple, effective, and (literally) priceless things you can do every day or week to show your children that you support them and want to be part of their lives. Making that investment, even if it means adjusting your schedule or routine to make that happen, is well worth it. Even if your children are all that small enough anymore, it’s important you interact with them in meaningful ways. According to the Recovery Village, a lot of teens are becoming more and more vulnerable to mental illness, especially thanks to social media and cyberbullying. It’s important to cut their time on the screen by giving them other options of activities, preferably with you. Here are some ideas of fun, meaningful, and free or low-cost things you can do with your children.
Encourage Their Talents
Along with simply showing that you’re there for them and that you care, you can also improve your child’s confidence through encouraging their talents. When your son sees you cheering from the sidelines at his championship soccer game, for instance, or when your daughter looks out and sees you in the audience at the school play, it shows that you are there and care about what is important to them in life. If your child has a passion for something that can be done at home, such as painting or playing an instrument, you can even set up a small art studio or practice room.
Source: Brain Wonders | Encourage Your Child Enhance The Special Talent
Read Books Together
Another fun, easy, and rewarding activity that you can do with your children is read books together. This is a great way to spend quality time together. It’s also a good habit to get into as it encourages them to spend time learning and developing their creative imaginations instead of turning to technology for entertainment. A fun option with this activity is to take turns selecting a book to read. Perhaps you have a favorite book from your childhood that you’d love to share with your own children. This is a great way to introduce them to new authors and keep your favorite childhood memories alive.
Give Them Individual Attention
As a parent, one of the most important things you can do for your children is to make time for each of them individually. And it doesn’t have to take place in a formal or fancy setting, either. Even just driving one of your kids to an after-school activity or picking them up from a friend’s house can give you the time you need to check in with them and give them a chance to talk to you. This may sound silly but remember and address them by name. Many times parents go through the list of their children’s name until get to the right one. If you remember specifically which name belongs to which child when addressing them, especially if you call their name while making eye contact or touch gives your child a “you’re special” message. This is a simple and effective way to keep up with their lives, and it gives them a chance to build confidence and trust in you.
Source: Perpetual Fostering | Raising a Confident Child
Work on Physical Fitness
Most people think of exercise as an individual activity, but it can also be a fun group activity with your kids. If your child is getting ready for the upcoming fall soccer or football season and needs to get in shape, for instance, offer to share a workout routine with him or her to get in better shape. This can be a fun activity where you act as the coach and keep encouraging your child to do better. Getting through a challenging workout together—and continuing to set physical goals—can be a terrific bonding experience that will help both of you become healthier.
Visit a Working Farm
Another fun and free or cheap activity to do with your kids is to visit a working farm. Perhaps there’s one in town or one that’s a short driving distance away. This is a great chance to let your kids get a dose of nature and enjoy some time outside. Fall tends to be the most popular time to visit a farm, considering it’s also a time to go apple picking and pumpkin picking, but it can be fun to go at other times of the year, too. Going in spring or summer, for instance, means your children can have a chance to see baby animals and admire the plants and trees coming to life.
Source: Money Crashers | 10 Fun & Cheap Things to Do With Your Kids
Spend Quality Time Outside
Another fun and inexpensive way to enjoy more time with your children is to get outside (with them) and get some fresh air. After a long day at work for you (and for them, school), there’s almost nothing better than going for a walk outside in the afternoon or after dinner. This is a great time for you all to get some much-needed fresh air and physical activity. If you have a pet, use this time to give it some exercise. Although you might not have the time during the week, you can spend longer periods of time outside on the weekend going hiking or going for walks in the local park.
Explore Shared Interests
If you can’t come up with something that you want to do with your kids, why not try something new? If there is something that you’ve both been curious about or wanted to try but haven’t found the time yet, this is a good opportunity to embark on a new hobby or activity together. If you’ve both watched tennis or golf on television, for instance, and have always thought it might be fun to start playing yourself, this is a good time to do so. Trying something new together will help you bond, and it can be a great way to find a new activity that you can both look forward to as a chance to improve and spend quality time together. For some families, they can even find new ways to bond with activities they are already doing. For example, if your family is active in the church community, then you can share your interest by taking an active role in church activities your child participates in.
Source: Life Church | Leading the Next Generation
Children grow up quickly, and it can be hard to find the time to connect with them while they’re still young. But before you know it, they will have become young adults, and your chance to spend quality time together will become more difficult to do. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to carve time out of your life’s schedule to give each one of them quality personal attention. Additionally, it is also fun to plan family activities or outings where you and all your children are included. From taking the dog for a walk together to starting an exercise routine, you’ll soon find that you don’t even have to spend money to have your children appreciate you and look forward to spending time together.
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