Life is busy, isn’t it? Juggling between work, home and then managing a child can force you to prioritise more urgent matters. In fact, chances are that you may even push back the time spent with your children in the process, even though you know exactly well the benefits of spending time with your child.
Something similar happened to this mum, who felt an incredible amount of mum guilt and reached out to netizens for help.
The mum in question shared her struggle with spending enough time with her children. She also asked for suggestions about the best time to play with them and if timing has any effect on their behaviour?
To her surprise, many mums jumped into the conversation and gave her genuine advice and the routine that they follow with their own children.
What Is The Best Time To Play With Kids?
Mum wanted help to understand what is the best time to play with kids (Screengrab: Reddit)
The user wrote, “Daydreaming about a schedule as I soon will become a stay at home mom. I see a lot of schedules that after breakfast include cleaning and chores while kids independent play, and then parent playtime is later.”
She asked other mums to help her with their advice/opinion on “If you play with your kids first thing in the morning does it fill up their bucket or love tank so they aren’t as needy throughout the day? Or do you think it sets a precedent for dad/mom is going to play with you all day? Or does it not even really make a difference as long as everyone is sane and taken care of? lol.”
The Reddit user wanted some clarity on the following:
To plan her daily schedule before taking the role of a stay-at-home mum like a pro.
If there is any right time to play with your kids?
Should there be a set parent playtime and if it has any behavioural effect on the young ones?
As a response to her question, netizens poured in with helpful suggestions on how they plan their schedule, and where playtime with their kids features in that.
Play whenever you have time
A user named Goatf*erxtreme wrote, “I m pretty open to playing when I m available and the kid wants it regardless of the time of day.”
Mummy time first, works better for this child
Another user named delvenue wrote, “How old are we talking? For babies and toddlers, play will happen in shorter cycles because the attention span is short. You aren’t going to have a play morning and work afternoon. It will be 20 minutes of play, 20 minutes of work, diaper change, 20-minute walk outside, 20 minutes play, 20 minutes work…But yes, my child tends to play better independently after some mommy time first.”
Kids should have a mix of parent time & play independently as well
User 2Ptr1_3-8 believes in creating a balance between parent time and playing independently. For her, no definite set routine works.
She wrote, “Once I’ve spent time playing with my toddler it’s often a bit of a transition for her to return to independent play and let me get work done (like cooking/cleaning). But since it’s a daily occurrence she transitions fairly quickly. I think it’s really important to have both- time with parent’s attention and time to play independently- but I don’t think the when/how/order makes a big difference. I personally find it hard to follow a set schedule so the order changes day today. Of course, I also have a two-month-old who definitely doesn’t eat on schedule so that’s a big part of the variability lol!”
While these parents shared helpful insights into their own schedules, know that the benefits of spending time with your child are immense. It is not just a bonding time, but helps with your child’s overall development as well.
Benefits of Spending Time With Your Child
Image courtesy: iStock
Fewer behavioural issues
Children who spend quality time with their parents are less likely to have behaviour issues within the family and at school. There may be arguments, but your child will always feel loved and respected in the family.
Mental and physical support
Kids need to feel loved and cared for. One of the many benefits of spending time with your child is giving them mental and physical support. A study published in NCBI concluded that poor quality mother-and-child relationships early in life, for instance, the mother not comforting the baby enough, resulted in 2.45 times higher risk of obesity for the child.
It’s not enough to only be there for important occasions or crises. Children need love and attention on a regular basis to become mentally and emotionally strong individuals.
How To Make Quality Time For Your Children
Image courtesy: iStock
Here are some helpful tips on spending quality time with your children.
Listen to your child
The first thing which you should be doing as a parent is to listen to your child. They have interesting observations, try and encourage them to share. If there is something troubling them, listen to their problems without judging them. This will help them open up to you in future as well.
Connect daily with your child. Take time out from your schedule to sit down and have a chat with your child. It may be face-to-face communication, like having breakfast together or sending a little note in their lunch bags. Communication in any form is valuable for your little one.
Express your love to them
Tell your child how much you love them and what is their value in your life. While, this may sound trivial, but kids yearn for love, attention, and validation.
Set a routine ritual
Create a daily routine, like going for a walk or reading a storybook just before hitting the bed. Make sure to have no distraction, like attending phone calls, texting during this time with your child.
Schedule time to do an activity
Let your child also make some decision. Allow them to take a call and fix a time when they want to do an activity such as baking, crafts or something else, with you.
Play with your child
No matter how busy you may be or how tied up with chores, always remember to hug your children and let them know that you love them. You’d be surprised to find how these small gestures can help them in the long run.