I used to be a working mom, so I can relate to the struggles of balancing my work and the time I spend with my daughter. I always try my best to make quality time for her.
But how do you define quality time? Is it a fancy Sunday dinner, expensive vacation, or other special experiences? Not at all! According to this research, "Children seemed to value those regular moments more than the elaborate, scheduled, “fun” occasions.”
Here are 10 ways to have simple and inexpensive quality time with your kids.
1. Hug time
Research shows that hugging is important in child development. My daughter and I do it every morning and at night whenever we say our morning and evening prayers. It gives them a sense of security and comfort. For us parents, hugging also reduces stress. So, this is win-win parent-child bonding.
2. Talk about what happened that day
There is a reason why schools nowadays have some sort of a "diary" aside from their subject notebooks. My daughter's diary is the first thing I check whenever I come home from work. From there, I can ask her what happened to her day at school. It may be trivial and petty but it makes her feel special knowing that I'm here to listen and that her life is important to me.
3. Exercise together
Do you enjoy running or going for a swim? If you do, I’m sure your child would be more than happy to join you. My husband runs around our village while my daughter rides her bike. Sometimes, their routine ends up in a nearby convenience store for some ice cream to cap off their daddy-daughter bonding time.
4. Do household chores together
Teach them young, as they say. Your kids will thank you later for teaching them life skills early on. My daughter helps me fold clothes, and even enjoys watching Youtube hacks on Konmari, etc. When we cook tinola, she's in charge of the malunggay leaves. (Tip: It's great for developing fine motor skills especially for preschool children. It can help strengthen the muscles in their hands and fingers to develop their handwriting skills.)
5. Share the day’s highs and lows at dinnertime
Dinner time is quality time. I think the dining table is the perfect place to squeeze in that family time where every family member gets to share the highs and lows of their day.
6. Have a bedtime bonding routine
Some working parents don't have the luxury of time to eat dinner at home because of... traffic! Some will just wait it out by eating dinner out or doing overtime. When I couldn’t join my kids at dinner time, I bond with them during bedtime routines. We brush our teeth together, I give them a bath, and read them a bedtime story.
7. Do your errands with your kids.
Errands can be bonding time, too! For example, my daughter looks forward to going to the grocery with me. Some kids may enjoy accompanying their dad to the car wash. Bonus: waiting in the bank or while lining up at the cashier also teaches kids patience.
8. Get a pampering session together
Moms can bring their daughters to the salon for a haircut or foot spa (some salons offer kiddie packages). Dads can bring sons to the barber shop or arcade.
9. Have a Family Friday movie night
Celebrate the end of the work week (or school week). Have some popcorn ready, and cuddle up while enjoying the movie.
10. Have a weekend game night
Board games like Scrabble or Monopoly, or simple card games will guarantee a super fun night! Here's another bonus: all the good-natured teasing and learning how to win (and lose) well will help your child develop good sportsmanship -- aka they won't be pikon.
You will always be your child’s favorite toy
Always look at Quality Time through your child’s eyes. What makes them feel happy and special? How will this moment make them feel loved? That’s when we realize that all they really want is your full attention and the feeling that you are having as much fun as they are. Years from now, what they’ll remember isn’t what they did, but the fact that they did it with you.
About The Writer
Mommy Badet Siazon is a working mom turned SAHM. She's a supportive mom to her 8 year old daughter Gwen. She writes about easy recipes, baon ideas, shopping finds, and budget family travels on her blog, themisischronicles.com.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and does not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.