January 3, 2011

Make Time For Your Children

"Children spell love... T-I-M-E." ~ Dr. Anthony P. Witham

A new 2011 calendar is hanging in your kitchen. You’ve penciled in birthdays, dental appointments and PTO meetings. Have you penciled in time for your children? It’s difficult to juggle family life with work and other obligations but if you don’t schedule one-on-one time with your children it’s probably not going to happen.

Children know that if something is written on the calendar it’s important.
Scheduling one-on-one time with your child tells her you value spending time with her. Enlist your child’s help in selecting which day and time each week will be set aside for your special time. An hour is a fair amount of time but even 30 minutes should satisfy most children. If you have more than one child you need to schedule a time for each child. If you’re a two parent home each parent needs to schedule their own special time.

Establish some ground rules for your special time:

• No distractions are allowed. Turn off the TV, put down the video games and set aside the lap top and cell phone.

• The time together needs to be interactive. Bake cookies, play a board game, put together a puzzle or assemble a craft. When the weather permits play outside with your child.

• Special time should not involve spending money on things such as movie tickets, toys or shopping. These types of events should only occur on an occasional basis or you will undermine the purpose of one-on-one time which is enjoying each others company.

Children like spending time with their parents. Once you establish a regular schedule you will find yourself looking forward to that weekly special time. One-on-one time with your child can foster a stronger relationship because it allows you to focus on your child's individual needs and interests. Those special moments create wonderful memories that both you and your child will forever remember.

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