Making The Most Of Every Moment With Your Kids

Children these days often have just as busy schedules as parents do. Between babysitters, naps, feeding schedules, soccer practice, and play dates, we wonder where the day has gone.

Weekends are reserved for planning events and outings as a family. After all, we are trying to give our kids the most fulfilling childhood we can, right?

But sometimes, the most meaningful times can be when they are least expected. When you are reading a bedtime story, while the kids are playing with daddy during after dinner cleanup, or when they ask you those deep heartfelt questions on the walk to school.

Dr. Harley Rotbart, a pediatrician, says:

“Over my past 30 years as a pediatrician, I have learned that there is a single truth that applies to any parenting philosophy: Your children need to spend meaningful time with you. They need to see who you are and how you live your life. And in return, they will help you to better see who you are.”

Parents Magazine highlighted some tips from Dr. Harley Rotbart’s book No Regrets Parenting: Turning Long Days and Short Years Into Cherished Moments With Your Kids:

“Walking with your kids is a great way to slow down the pace of your lives and to have more unscripted moments with them.”

“As they get older, hold the flashlight for them. Instead of dreading things that break, you’ll see new tiles, built-in shelves, and paint jobs as bonus chances for time with your kids.”

“try to stay in the moment with a “parenting meditation,” in which you focus on seeing your kids, hearing them, understanding them, and really being amazed by what you’ve created — living, breathing miracles of nature who are learning like sponges and growing like weeds.”

“Dinner at home with the whole family is special unto itself, but your kids will be even more eager to sit down together when your meal has a theme.”

“The minutes that we “save” by driving our children a short distance to the neighborhood park or a friend’s house are actually priceless moments that we lose in the name of convenience.”

“Establish special traditions around fun treats — they become more special because they don’t happen that often.”

Creating those special family moments helps children know they matter to the family, which not only gives every member of the family a sense of belonging, but can prevent crises in adolescence.

The Child Development Institute reported,

A new study has been published in the Journal of Family Issues, led by Brown University sociologist Gregory Elliott. This study shows that adolescents who believe they matter to their families are less likely to threaten or engage in violence against family members.”

Parents have an innate sense that spending time with their kids is important. What you may have not thought of is the deeper value this quality time means to your children.

Gail Fernandez, M.D of Child Development Institute says, “Interactive time is that spent with both child and parent fully engaged in an activity together. The importance of this time is multifold:

  1. The child feels important and loved.
  2. He or she has an opportunity to model parent’s behavior.
  3. The parent can observe and learn about the child’s strengths and weaknesses in order to better guide them.
  4. The child has a chance to voice their thoughts and feelings.
  5. The parent and child develop a stronger bond.”

When you don’t make the theme park this summer, or you get lost in the schedule of your little ones, remember the fulfillment your whole family gets in the cherished small moments of intimacy.