Do you being a divorced parent spend enough parenting time with your children? What is enough time? How can you spend time with your children? Big adventures like a skying holiday are fine, but most of the time can be found in daily life.
It is not as simple as "8 hours" a week is enough. It is not only amount of time you spend with your children. The quality of the time you spend with them is more important.
Some parents are in the same room with their children during many hours. However, they are doing completely different things. Mentally they are in a world that is completely different from the world of their children. They have no clue about what is going on in the minds of their children.
A parent constantly looking on his smart phone to check his emails and the weather or some of the many other things those applicances are capable of today, does not pay serious attention to his children. No, if you want to spend parenting time with your children, switch off that equipment, including the tv. Go out to do activities with them. Go and see them playing their basketball or baseball game. Take them out to the beach and to the woods. Go ice skating, skying, hiking or biking.
By sharing those activities, you will build a bond with your children. You show them that you are really interested in what they are doing. They feel respected and trusted and they feel safe.
Have as many conversations with them as possible. A good place to start is dinner and breakfast. Those provide shorter and longer opportunities to exchange your and their daily experiences. They will tell you about the topics being discussed at school in the classroom and outside. They will tell you about their sports activities.
Help them with their homework on a regular basis. That shows that you really care about their future. It is again a good opportunity to spend quality parenting time with your children.
Let them bring home their friends. Join the games they play regularly. Invite their friends to join for dinner. That gives you plenty of opportunities to know their friends and their interest.
Of course you have a busy schedule during the week at least. But if your children are with you, you should make parenting time and attention available to be with them. To interact, to have fun and to have conversations. If you have joint custody with the other parent, the time you can spend with your children will be limited. You might see them only in the weekend. If that is the case, make the best out of it.
If your ex partner does not see it his or her priority to spend parenting time with the children, talk about it. Be flexible to your ex. If he or she does not "have" time to take the kids out or to share dinner with them, find creative solutions. Explain the importance of spending quality time with the children. For the best interest of the children, they should spend quality parenting time with both their father and their mother.
Doing stuff with your children is very important for a healthy physical, social and emotional development. It stimulates their creativity, their curiosity and their learning abilities. Your children learn from every interaction.
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