Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Not Enough Time with the Kids?

Do you feel guilty at the end of the day that you don't spend enough time with your children? Read this incredible article about a study done in the UK that estimates working parents spend less than 20 minutes per day giving their children their complete and undivided attention.

19 minutes - how long working parents give their children

I strongly believe that we are all given the same 24 hours in a day, it is therefore our responsibility to prioritize our schedules to allow time for all the things important to us personally. This truth does not necessarily make it easy, however, to accomplish a balanced life. Here are a few easy ways to spend more time with your kids without constantly looking at the clock and your to do list:
  • Eat dinner together: Studies show that families who eat dinner together are healthier and happier, families have closer relationships and share similar values. Take advantage of this time to listen to your child talk about their day and plan activities you will do together in coming days.
  • Enlist their help of your kids (but make it fun): If your to do list is a million items long, take advantage of this time to teach your children a lesson in the responsibilities of running a healthy household and a happy family. Gardening, cooking, and organizing can all be made fun to keep kids involved and entertained while you get a few things done.
  • Include your kids: If you find yourself bringing your work home and rushing off to meetings, try not to cut your kids out. This is another opportunity to teach your children about the responsibilities you take on while balancing multiple roles. Including your children (even just taking several minutes to explain what you are working on) will allow them to understand the many things that are important to you.
  • Get ready for tomorrow, together: Help your kids prepare for tomorrow by putting homework in backpacks by the door, laying out clothes for tomorrow, and packing lunches. This will buy you a few more minutes together and streamline your morning routine.
  • Don't rush them off to bed: Unwind as a family after a long day. Help younger children get ready for bed, read a few stories, then talk quietly with them after they are all tucked in. Share a cup of decaf tea with an older child, stealing another moment to talk about their day.

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