Ten tips and ideas on how to spend quality family time with your kids
- Read to your children, and have them read to you. Every child loves a good story and once they have read a few books and received pleasure from them, they will turn to reading instead of the computer to play games or watch television. A good way to start is with an adventure story or a mystery. Make reading a regular thing. Let them discover the world of storytelling.
- Have dinner together. This not only anchors the family but allows everyone to talk about how their day was and what is going on in everyone’s lives. It also opens up a platform for serious discussion. Dinner time, however, should be enriching to the whole family and so avoid talking about discipline and other serious issues. Depending on the age of your child, you can also have one child decide on a topic they would like to discuss over the dinner table. Studies have shown that teenagers especially benefit from family meals. The more a family eats together, the less likely the children are to do drugs, smoke, develop eating disorders, get depressed or drink and the more likely they are to do well in school. Family dinners take practice, so be patient, and you will have a happier family for it.
- Have a family movie night and let this become a family tradition. The trick is to keep it simple. Watching a movie with the family must also be relaxing for the single parent. Ensuring that all the children are happy with the movie choice can sometimes be impossible, so let every child get a turn to pick what movie to watch.
- Have a picnic in the park. Let the kids make the sandwiches and choose what they want to drink. Make sure you pack in some action toys such as a kite or a Frisbee for the kids to play with.
- Buy materials for a kite. Let the children help put it together. Then take it with you to the park. Flying a kite is not as easy as it sounds. They’ll have a lot of fun trying to launch it and finally see it soar in the air.
- Go skating together. This is a great sport during the long winter months. Take a flask of hot cocoa for afterwards.
- Make breakfast together in the mornings. There may not be much time during the week, but have a day on the weekend when you can make pancakes and waffles with the kids.
- Start a little herb or vegetable together – there is no better way than getting dirty and spending a nice warm Saturday together outside. Decide what it is you are going to plant and take turns watering the garden. The reward will come at the end when your kids eat their first self – planted tomato!
- Play games together. Play board games together in those cold winter months. Let every child have a turn picking which board game they would like to play. Or maybe build a fort out of sheets together in the living room and tell each other scary stories.
- And lastly, just have fun together as a family. There are so many activities you can do for some family quality time.
Quality family time seems hard to come by when you are a single parent. Just remember, if you provide a well-balanced life for your children, you will raise healthy and happy kids.