Lessen the Stress: Using everyday
moments to create focussed time with your kids is only half the battle. In order to make that time really count, you have to let go of
day-to-day pressures as well. Busy parents who want to connect with their children often overlook a big stumbling block: the stress in their own
Another roadblock to true focussed time between parents and children is over-scheduling. Too many moms and dads mistakenly
believe that good parenting means filling up a child`s day with stimulating activities. In contrast to their belief, what kids really need is
family togetherness and attentive communication. Parents must place less emphasis on things like karate, music lessons and gymnastics, which
often require hurried shuttling back and forth. Instead parents must place more emphasis on relaxed, one-on-one time together.
Just Be There: For time-strapped parents, it may be tempting to discount the importance of
showing up at events like school plays and basketball games. After all, such activities do little to foster one-on-one intimacy. Nonetheless,
the mere presence of a parent can be surprisingly meaningful for children.
Value Small Moments:
Time spent with your child, whether through routine activities or more intimate moments such as private talks, can reap big
rewards. Even the smallest gesture on your part one that lets your youngster know you care - will mean more than you might
think. Your child may not come right out and tell you, but chances are she`ll show you in all sorts of other ways. Leaving small notes for them
to find later can be very special.
You`re letting your child know that you are aware of what`s going on in her life; you`re giving her
your pinpointed attention. It just happens to be in the form of a note. Hugs and kisses have a similar effect and when your child is little he
can`t get enough of them. But as kids get older, they may shrink from your embraces, especially in public. This doesn`t necessarily mean they
don`t still want and need physical affection. Just because they don`t want you to kiss them in front of their friends, doesn`t mean they
wouldn`t like to cuddle with you before bed. If your child is still saying "yuk" to hugs at home, you might try engaging him in a playful
wrestling match or pillow fight. It`s a great way to continue being physically close, especially with boys. Take advantage of these playful
moments to encourage intimate talks. Keep in mind that just before bed and early in the morning are times when children are often more cuddly
and talkative than usual.
There`s a lot you can do to make whatever time you have with your children richer and more memorable. In fact,
it`s the simplest things that children seem to cherish the most. For example, sharing a bedtime story, talking in the car, a spontaneous pillow
fight, listening attentively as your children tell you what happened at school, or leaving a sweet note packed in the lunch box. Even very busy
parents can do a wonderful job creating more of these loving moments.