Do you make an effort to get to know your kids?

Do you make an effort to get to know your kids?

Presence over presents

Do you make an effort to get to know your kids?

Don’t let the rat race distract you from the fact that your children are growing up fast. Be there for them in their formative years so that they will remember you fondly later in life.

To be in your child’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today. The world we live in is teeming with people who are running a race against time, a race that is materialistic. We run this race to provide a stable future for our family members, to make their lives easy, to fulfill our dreams and theirs. Often, we do not realise that this is keeping us away from our loved ones.

As our focus stays doggedly on success and wealth, we fail to prioritise actually being there for our children. This often leads to the little ones feeling lonely and neglected. Here are some ways in which you can make sure you spend quality time with your family and bond with your children.

Little things matter

Even your smallest gestures can have a great impact on the minds of your impressionable children. Saying ‘good morning’, ‘good afternoon’ or ‘good night’, an occasional hug, a genuine smile, a gentle kiss on their cheek – all tell them that you care. These sweet little actions can make your child’s day and assure them that no matter what, you would always be there for them. Remain by their side in all situations, good or bad. Be the kind of person they would want to confide in.

Dinner table talk

Try to have at least one meal with them every day, preferably at the end of the day, as this is when all the members of the family relax. Make it a routine to sit together and talk about the day’s events. Compliment them for their accomplishments and feats. Be compassionate when they tell you about something that upset them.

Collect moments

Quality time is measured in moments. Find new things to do with your children, encourage them to pick up hobbies and do chores at home. Join them as they get busy. Besides helping you spend more time with them, this will make them more creative and responsible. This would also create a perfect opportunity for you to start a conversation about what is happening in their lives.

Take them seriously

Make your children participate in discussions related to them as well as other members of the family. Take their advice on the matters concerning their betterment. This would not only enable them to understand family issues but also make them confident and teach them to develop their own point of view.

Story time

Stretch those happy relaxed moments into their dreams. Tell them stories, real or fictitious. Work up their imagination; create a fairyland with tales of princesses, beasts, warriors and thieves. Encourage them to become storytellers themselves; stop midway and ask them how they think the story would end. Motivate them to enact these roles and choose their parts well. You might just have a budding writer or actor in your hands.

Sunday fun-day

Make it a point to go on family outings, big or small, regularly. And leave all unnecessary gadgets behind. Relax and unwind, communicate and interact, play games and live life to the fullest. Recreate your childhood memories by playing some of the games that you played when you were young. Share stories you remember from that time. The best way to break free from the monotony of adult life is to become a child again.

Celebrations & jubilations

Festivals and special occasions become better when celebrated with all members of the family. These are times when the whole family meets and rejoices together. Grab this opportunity to bond with your child and become their best friend. Make them feel that they are invaluable to you. Make memories that will last a lifetime. Take pictures. Before you know it, the tiny tots are going to grow up and move out to create their own lives. Appreciate these special moments that you get to spend with them.

Remember never to educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be happy, so they know the value of things, not their price. Like the popular saying goes, ‘Your children need your presence more than your presents.’

(The author is executive director, SHEMROCK Pre-schools & founder-director, SHEMFORD Futuristic Schools)

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