Parent Resource: Making the most of quality time with your kids
76% of parents experience concern around time spent with children
Our State of the Nation Parenting Survey found that over three quarters (76%) of parents surveyed experience some degree of concern about the amount of time they have to spend with their child.
How can we tackle this sense of guilt and worry, and make the most of the time we have with our kids during our all-too-busy schedules?
Plan in advance – then make it happen
Although scheduling in dedicated time with family might sound a bit prescriptive, it can be effective in ensuring quality time happens on a regular basis.
Whether it’s a monthly fun outing to mini-golf or the zoo, or something as simple as getting home by 7pm for dinner together, put it in your schedule and then commit to making it happen.
Let them join in on your daily routine
Use your own hobbies or everyday tasks as an opportunity to find common interest with your kids. Get them to help out in the kitchen, and maybe you’ll help them discover a love of cooking; if they like the outdoors, grab them a pair of gardening gloves.
They might not jump at the opportunity at first, but it may well turn into one of their favourite things to do!
Don't feel guilty about the number of hours. It’s about quality time, not quantity.
When you’re limited by time, the moments you share with your children is absolutely critical. Make sure you’re totally present and give your child your full, undivided attention. That means turning your phone onto silent and hiding the work laptop away.
A great way to ensure distraction-free quality time is to get out of the house so you’re not tempted by the TV in the background. When you properly connect and interact with your children, these are the moments both you and your family will treasure most.
Send them little reminders to show that you care
Even when you can’t be by their side, doing little things to remind your children you’re thinking of them can do wonders for their self-esteem. Leaving a note in their lunchbox, or sending them a text message during the day will do just that.
It also helps to keep a calendar of key dates such as sports days, tests and exams so you can stay across important milestones and give them a timely word of encouragement or support when they might need it most.
See more parenting guides here:
- How to manage your child’s social media and screen time
- Dealing with your child’s anxiety around exam time
- When and how to have the sex talk with your kids
- Child Mental Health: Tips for New Zealand Parents
Want to see the full nib State of the Nation Parenting Survey results? Click here to find out more.