Spending Quality Time With the Kids Without Going OTT
If you have split with your partner, it can be all too easy to get into a bit of a competition. Being the ‘fun’ parent or the ‘better’ parent might sound tempting, but the more mature route is to simply provide what your children need from you while building a strong parent-child relationship. When they are grown, they will look back and understand that having quality time with you was worth far more than unlimited screen time would have been.
Ensure You Spend Regular Time Together
Whether you spend 10 minutes talking every or you only get quality time together every other weekend, making sure that you keep things regular is the most important thing. Being reliable is the best way to show that you will always be there for your children; it tells them that you aren’t going anywhere.
Some fathers struggle to get this type of regular contact with their children so it is important to note that you have rights and access to father’s rights help. No-one wants to drag their family through chaos after a divorce but you deserve to have a presence in your kids’ lives. Fighting for this access now will make things easier in the future.
Treat Them Without Being Excessive
Competition between parents is a tough game to get out of but there’s no need to be excessive to show your kids a good time. Whether you are looking for a great festive gift or you just want to treat your kids at the weekend, going for a day out is often better than a physical gift because it ensures you spend more time together.
Going out to eat or get ice cream, going to the park, visiting a gallery or museum - any of these activities will bring you closer together and give you more things to talk about too. Just as you should be reliable with the time you spend together, you should also be consistent with the type of activities do and gifts you give. An educational angle is always good too!
Talk and Listen
Talking to your children is the best way to connect with them but often we are going other things while we chat. Taking some time to just sit and talk is really important for kids, especially tweens and teens who are starting to think about their future. Sitting comfortably and doing nothing but talk might come naturally to some but to others, a few starter questions might help.
Interesting conversation starters are a great way to get to know your kids and figure out what makes them tick. Though questions like ‘how was school?’ or ‘what are you up to?’ might be common, they are also pretty boring for the kids. Instead, asking things like ‘what did you do at recess?’ or ‘what activity would you choose to do if you had to do it all day everyday’ will open up the conversation and get things going.
Quality time with your kids is the best way to help them grow into strong, capable and confident adults. And with these simple tips, you will find yourselves getting on much better than you might have before.