After spending all day shuttling between school, after school care, playdates, and home for homework, dinner, and bedtime, it can feel like one day lasts a year. Yet in a blink of an eye, your infant is a five year old, and suddenly, a teenager. Your kids grow up so fast, so you want to make sure you are spending the quality time with them while you can. Getting meaningful, face-to-face time with parents is an integral part of healthy emotional and social development. However, that’s easier said than done when you lead a busy life yourself. Fortunately, quality time isn’t about spending a certain amount of minutes per day with your child every day—it’s about making those minutes count. While you can’t slow down time, you can change your perception and take steps to ensure the time you spend with your child is quality.

Be Present

If you are juggling a lot of different priorities (and let’s face it: what parent isn’t?), it can be easy to go into auto pilot on a daily basis. You may be making dinner with your kids, but in your mind, you’re thinking about the presentation you have to give at work the next day or the argument you had with your spouse that morning. Being present in the moment isn’t easy when you have a lot on your plate, but it is key to giving your kid the quality time they need. When you are doing something with your child, take the time to really focus on them and marvel at how amazing it is that you have created this growing, thriving life.

Have Weekly Family Dinner

Life gets busy, so many families don’t have the option of eating dinner together every night. When this is the case, it’s helpful to have one family dinner scheduled for every week. This traditions communicates to your child that the time you spend together is important enough to put on the calendar on a regular basis. Even better, make the dinner a special theme, whether it’s Taco Tuesday or pizza every Friday. Have your child participate in every element of this night, from helping you cook to setting the table. Make sure to share your excitement about this day every week, and your child will anticipate it eagerly as well.

Take Walks

When you’re busy, it’s tempting to just pile everyone into the van when you need to pick up milk from the store a few blocks away, but this is actually an opportunity to get quality time with your child. Instead of driving everywhere, if a location is close enough to walk and the weather permits, walk there with your child. This gives you the opportunity to talk to them about their day and what is going on in their mind. This type of alone time to talk and connect is not something they will soon forget.

If you are looking for after school care in Glastonbury, we can help you. Foundations for Learning is the leading child care provider in the area. Contact us today to tour our facility!