A New Year brings with it a natural response to set some New Year resolutions and goals. A New Year goal to be a more involved parent is a worth one to add to your plans for the year. It is a chance to try something new or perhaps continue to build on what worked for you and your family in the past year. Planning to be a more involved parent takes intentional planning, you have various things to consider, such as different distractions, demands of work, busy school days filled with homework among others.
Some ways to be a more Involved Parent
Spend Quality Time
Spend quality time with your children and really focus on them. Quality time is not simply being in the same place and then sit glued to your smart device. In reality you can make even a small amount of time count as quality time that your child will enjoy. Pencil the time in if you have to. You can do anything with them during this time you can read, play with toys, talk…the only rule is that the time should be uninterrupted.
Have One Meal Together
Commit to have at least one meal together as a family. Meal time is a good time to come together and discuss things as a family. To be practicable you could start with at least one day a week and build on it. It encourages bonding,
Teaching your children to pray daily is a good way to introduce spirituality to your children and teach them about God. In addition, if you take the time to show them how important this is, they will grow up making God their priority. They will also prioritize making time to pray and reading the word will become part of their lives. Getting practice praying with the family builds their confidence and encourages them to pray. Prayer time becomes a time for family needs and to give thanksgiving to God.
Visit their Schools
Some parents are able to drop and pick their children in school daily. Other parents are only able to show up on parent teacher days and school events. Try to schedule sometime now and then to just pop into your child’s school. There is something nice about seeing the teachers and observing your child’s learning environment.
Read together, for younger children you can read a few pages together. If you have older children you can read the newspapers or a magazine together. This gives you an opportunity to discuss the news and other things they learn.
Technology Free Time
For instance, decide to have some time as a family where no devices are allowed. Too many times you come across parents sitting with their children and they are all on one device or the other. So be intentional about encouraging time together with no tablet or smartphone. Help your children to build critical social interaction and communication skills by spending face-to-face time.
Have Fun Together
Plan regular family fun time together doing things you all love to do. This can include watching movies together, playing board games, playing football or learning the latest dance steps. Above all, the idea is to have fun!
What other ways do you plan to be a better parent this year? Making this quality time takes being intentional, but you will see the benefits in your relationship with your children. [Read: Tips for Setting Family Goals]