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Spending quality time with children
November 4, 2013, 12:17 pm

When you add up all the time your kids spend occupied with activities that don't include you, the remaining moments become especially precious. Depending on your children's ages and whether you work outside the home, there may be as few as one or two hours a day during the week for you to spend with them.However, instead of worrying about how many minutes you can spend with your children each day, focus on turning those minutes into memorable moments.

Practice parenting meditation: When you're overwhelmed with your responsibilities, it is easy to toggle into automatic pilot with your kids. But if your mind is elsewhere during the precious moments you've worked hard to preserve, you have lost your kids' childhood just as surely as if you hadn't spent the time with them at all. Instead, try to stay in the moment with a ‘parenting meditation’, in which you focus on seeing your kids, hearing them, understanding them, and really being amazed at the kind of individuals they are.

Have a special dinner: Dinner at home with the whole family is special unto itself, but your kids will be even more eager to sit down together when your meal has a theme. You can have taco night, pizza night, Chinese night, egg night, or pancake night. Turn your kitchen into a sushi bar or an Italian bistro once a week. When kids are excited and having fun, they are energized in their conversation and about sharing their news at the table.Special dinner nights are also a unique opportunity to increase your kids' involvement in cooking with you.

Fix it together: Never repair a leaky faucet or replace the furnace filter without your kids. Home improvements are a great way to spend time with them while teaching them about tools and life at the same time. Any part of the home space is a classroom for learning how things work and how to safely fix things. Give them a flashlight, and talk them through the job you're doing. As they get older, hold the flashlight for them. Instead of dreading things that break, you'll see new tiles, built-in shelves, and paint jobs as bonus chances for time with your kids.

Play their games: Learn how to play the video games you bring into your home so you can experience this part of your kids' world. Some games even have a somewhat redeeming virtual reality, because they mimic real-world activities like table tennis, bowling, baseball, skiing, and dancing.

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