Busy parents have to make the most out of what often seems like not enough time. Their calendars are often completely full, often with overlapping meetings and appointments. However, just like building the habit of exercising, if you are going to get fit you need to block off time in that calendar to work out.
Tonight, start with 10 minutes. Your goal is to simply have a special moment with your child and perhaps kick off a new tradition of daily special moments. Remember - quality is always better than quantity!
Plan A: A Few Minutes of Stargazing
After dinner, ask your child if they want to go see what the moon’s up to. Bundle up, and walk outside. Pick your little one up, and point to the moon. What does she see? Is it big and round, or a sliver? Is it yellow, red, or white? Is it a cloudy or clear night? Are there other stars nearby? Do you see any planes flying over? Give your little one an extra squeeze and say to them, “I really enjoyed watching the moon with you! Do you want to do this again tomorrow?”
If it’s too cold to be outside, try the same activity from indoors. If that’s not an option, on to Plan B.
Plan B: Drawing a Family Photo For Your Office
Ask your little one, “Can you help me draw a family photo so I can have a picture at my work desk?” Bring out some crayons, colored pencils, pens, or markers, and work together to draw your family. Let him lead the drawing. Ask him questions like, “Do you want to start with you, mama, or daddy?” or “What color do you want to draw daddy’s hair?” She may have a very specific plan in mind, so let him lead the way. Ask him, “What would you like me to do?” and let him direct you.
The goal of this exercise is for you to stop, listen, and react to your child. Let your child experience you asking an open-ended question and feel you responding to their reaction. When your child is done, say, “I really enjoyed drawing our family with you. Can we work on something new tomorrow?”