Now that the school year is back in swing, families will be feeling a bit of the time crunch. Whether trying to finish homework, running over to after school practice, or simply getting dinner on the table, parents and kids will be spending less one on one time together.
I firmly believe that it is more about quality not quantity, and when you do have free time, be sure to make it count. Here are 5 suggestions on Ways to Reconnect with Your Kids After School!
1. Ask about their day – This is a great way to get your children to open up about school, to see who they are hanging out with, as well as a way to determine if they are paying attention. These questions can be asked during the car ride home, at dinner, or even when you are putting your kids to bed.
Examples of questions I ask my kids are:
– Who did you hang out with on the playground?
– Did you learn anything special or new in school?
– What was your favorite moment during class?
– Did your friends or teacher say anything funny today?
– What was the most interesting food you saw in your friend’s lunch box?
For me, it is fun to learn details about their day and I may even be made aware of any potential issues at school. I know this has helped spark conversations with my children, and recently lead me to find out about something that was bothering my daughter.
2. Make dinner as a family – This is a moment that you can teach your children life skills and a great bonding opportunity. Simple dishes like spaghetti or meatloaf are fun to create together. I also like pizza night where the kiddos can add sauce and toppings to dough and I find that they tend to eat what they make. Depending upon your child’s age they may be able to do less or more, and may need to be supervised around heat sources, foods, or utensils.
3. Playing sports or walking in the evening – The immediate benefits of this activity are definitely exercise and encouraging an active life. Plus, it is fun to hang out as a family and you can even incorporate questions about their day as you walk along.
4. Cookie or Cake Decorating – When homework is finished, create a fun treat as a family. I would suggest making cookies or cakes in advance (the night before) and picking up fun toppings like pre-made icing, chocolate chips, gummy bears, or sprinkles.
5. Read a book or make up stories together – This is an awesome way to wind down at bedtime, and when families create their own stories, you encouraging creativity and your child’s imagination.
How do you reconnect with your children after school? Any special activities that you do with your family?
These are just a few examples of spending time together because kids can definitely make plenty of moments in life a bit more entertaining. You would be surprised what they will find exciting, so why not reconnect during activities like housework, or even pulling weeds in the yard. I just recently discovered that my kids enjoy helping wash, dry, as well as putting away the dishes, LUCKY ME!.