*For Immediate Release*
3 Tips for Sharing Meaningful Quality Time with Your Children
By: Jenny Cox Holman
When we reminisce about the “good ole days,” our thoughts reflect back to a time when grandparents enjoyed front porch sitting filled with fellowship and laughter, days when families enjoyed fun afternoons at the park and evenings that were technology free when board games were all the craze. Fast forward to the present time - our frenzied, busy, social media-laden lives are filled with schedules brimming full of commitments that leave us depleted and those who deserve our best getting the leftovers of our physical and emotional presence.
Being purposeful with your quality time with those you love matters. Maybe you work outside the home, are a stay-at-home mom with multiple children, a busy working dad who works late hours or a single parent juggling a job and family time. Take my three suggestions to cultivate meaningful memories that will help your children thrive and feel secure and loved!
Quality time with your children means sharing eye contact and engaging conversations in a phone-free zone.
Parents, we may want to think about the negative effects of social media and cell phone usage on our children and teens. Now is a time to self-reflect. Have we become a generation who conforms to the crowd and are driven by a desire to be in the know socially, and do we constantly update our social media peers to our daily grind on Facebook and Instagram? Have we forgotten what it's like to experience days away from the manic media craze to enjoy face-to-face interactions without our nose glued to our phone? Phones have become the grown-up umbilical cord of sorts - supplying daily nourishment that is fortified in a bunch of fluff and filters to try to quench an endless appetite that keeps us scrolling, liking and checking notifications on emoji-filled posts.
Eye contact and engaging conversations go hand-in-hand and social media use will cease conversations with people physically present around you. Engaging in online chatter with virtual “friends” sends a message to your children that you are distracted and not interested in the present moments with them. Why miss that time with those you love?
2. Money doesn’t equate to quality when it comes to sharing love and memories with your family.
Simplicity can hold great possibilities for spending quality time with your family. You may find yourself on a budget and working to pay the monthly bills and having extra for entertainment just isn’t an option. Local parks, community libraries, and neighborhood churches offer many ways to have fun for less. Step outside and appreciate a sunset. Blow bubbles and ride bicycles with your daughter or son. Spend an afternoon at a local park and let your children enjoy playing in the summer sunshine. Visit a neighborhood library and read classic children’s books together. Take time during a car ride to visit with your preteen who is growing up so quickly. Your children will look back on their childhood and remember with fondness those simple days filled with love.
Ask yourself, “How have I invested my time with the greatest treasure I will ever receive – my children?”Time is fleeting and these days matter. Spend time with your children, so they will know they matter to you, that they are a priority and you truly love making memories with them. Those moments don’t have to be an expensive trip or picture worthy experiences. Spend time together listening about their day at school, sharing hugs before bedtime, and giving words of encouragement and affirmation for your children to know you appreciate their unique talents and gifts.
Many people go to great lengths to manage, invest, save and make elaborate financial plans for the present time and unknown future. A well-known quote states, “You’ll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse.” The brevity of life doesn’t evade any of us and those material possessions are fleeting, but the memories with those you love will last through generations.
3. The meaning of love is learned through serving and giving to others.
Quality time with your children is filled with opportunities to teach valuable lessons in life. Caring for others and their needs and happiness teaches children humility, kindness, and selflessness. Nursing homes, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and animal rescue facilities are wonderful places where you can serve alongside your children. Teaching your children that it is greater to serve than to be served enriches their childhood with irreplaceable life lessons and memories. Create a foundation of security for your children built on love, quality time shared during simple days together, and service to others through humility and gratitude to pass on a legacy of love and memories of quality time well spent with your family.
~ Visit a local Families First Resource Center to learn more ways to create quality time through P.A.C.T. (Parents and Children Together) time