Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Make Quality Time with Each Child a Priority

When you're parenting a large family, you have to make quality time with each child a priority. With so many children, it's easy for one child to get lost in the shuffle and get left out unintentionally. Plus, you want to to have a close relationship with each child to know what's going on in their life, and each child needs your support in different ways-- whether it's physical, emotional or they just need help working through a problem. Bottom line, they just need to feel loved and important, and that's where individual quality time is an important factor.

However, this is easier said than done when your day is chaotic and your attention is being demanded in every direction. I tried spending 30 minutes a day with each child, which doesn't seem like much, but then you multiply that by 4 and that adds up to 2 hours a day. Working full time on top of the demands of parenting a large family, there simply wasn't the time.

So, I found little ways to make quality time with each child a reality. It may only be a few minutes here and there, but I take every opportunity I can to spend a few minutes with that child when these rare opportunities become present.

For example, with my daughter, she likes to watch me do my hair and make-up in the morning. So, while I'm getting ready for my day, we girl talk in the bathroom and just take advantage of these few stolen moments to simply talk with each other...until the boys come barging in.

With my youngest child, it's much easier to find moments to spend alone with him because the older kids go to school, so it's just us during the day. Plus, he's my little snuggle bug and likes to sneak into my bed in the morning for some mommy time.

My older 2 boys on the other hand are a little more difficult to find time with. They are at that phase where if I kiss them in public, surely they will die from embarrassment. That, combined with their endless energy and always being on the go, then fighting through their wrestling and karate chopping of each other to actually get to one of them is a challenge in itself. But, still, there are little moments I'm able to snatch one of them up for a short time to just talk with them, and even sneak in a hug or two...as long as no one is looking.

You really have to look for moments of opportunity to make quality time with each child a reality. My husband has another way of doing it. He alternates children with who he takes with him to run errands, so each child gets their daddy time.

It's certainly a challenge, especially when you're being pulled in so many different directions and the clock is always ticking before it's time for bed. But, you have to make quality time with each child a priority, even if it's only a few stolen minutes here and there.

How do you make quality time with each of your children a reality?