Guest Post by Courtney Gordner, DEG Contributor
Being a working parent can be tough in so many ways. Not only are you caught up in the daily grind of your job, errands, dinner prep and housework, you also have the added guilty feelings that you might not be spending enough quality time with your child. It can be tough to muster up the energy you need after a long and busy day to even play a game of Candy Land when all you want to do is collapse on the couch. Thankfully, there are some ways you can bond with your child that are both easy and fun. Try some of these little tips that can make a big difference in your relationship.
1. Read at Bedtime
A good story and some one-on-one cuddle time at the end of the day is a great way to bond. You get to spend some quiet time together and enjoy a good tale. Perhaps, you can even introduce your child to some of your own childhood favorites. Reading to your children has many other benefits as well, including building his or her vocabulary, improving reading skills, boosting communication skills and encouraging a lifelong love of reading. Plus, it’s a great way to wind down at the end of the day.
2. Do Chores Together
Okay, so you have a mountain of laundry to deal with, vacuuming to contend with and the grocery shopping to cross off your list. Instead of grumping your way through it all, get your child involved. Have him or her help sort and fold laundry. Make a game out of matching the socks. Give him or her a toy vacuum so they can “help” clean those carpets.
My daughter loved to Swiffer the kitchen floor. Take them grocery shopping with you and give them a list of items to find. Some stores even offer little carts for children to push or ride in. At least you are spending time together while tackling your to-dos.
3. Volunteer at School
A great way to bond with your children is to share their special experiences. That includes school parties and field trips. It’s funny how even though they see you every day, you are treated like a rock star when you walk into your child’s classroom. It really does mean a lot to them.
These events are planned far enough in advance for you to request some time off from work and spend some time at enjoyable and memorable school events. Your child will always remember that you took the time to be there. It’s one thing to shop for school supplies and French Toast uniforms, but it’s another to actually set foot in the classroom and be more involved.
4. Participate Together
Chances are your child is involved in some type of activity, whether it’s a sports team, a scouting troop or a dance class. We all know that participating in sports and other activities has many benefits, such as improved social skills and self-esteem, a strong connection to health and well-being, and getting that all-important physical activity. In addition, sharing in these activities with your child is a great way to reconnect.
Whether it’s rooting for your child in a game or competition, volunteering to drive kids to events or even stepping up to be a coach, sharing in these special activities shows your child you have taken an interest and are invested (more than just financially) in their interests.
5. Just Have Fun
No matter how tired or busy you are, find some time to do something fun together. To you, playing with Barbies may seem like torture, but to your daughter it means so much. Sometimes even just sitting together and coloring can be a great bonding experience. Take a walk together, kick a ball around or work on a jigsaw puzzle. Find a time that works for both of you, such as after homework is done and dinner is over, to spend some time together. It’s so important to take time out for fun and togetherness in today’s busy and stressful world.
On that same note, make sure to plan fun weekend trips here and there, such as a camping excursion or a day to play tourist in your own hometown. Weekends are a great time to slow down and enjoy some quality time together and if you’re doing something fun, you’ll be building some wonderful memories.
Try out these tips and watch that guilt that you’re not spending enough time together disappear.
Courtney Gordner is a blogger/journalist who loves to write. While she enjoys writing about a variety of topics, internet marketing and social media are her favorites. You can read more from her on her blog, Talk Viral or connect with her on Twitter, @CourtGordner, Pinterest and Google+.