Even though we are following stay-at-home orders and have family time all the time, I still wonder if I am spending enough quality time with my kids. With online learning, working from home, cleaning up, cooking, Netflix binging and video games…the day can go by in a blur. One-on-one time becomes less frequent as kids get older and more independent. I find our family dynamic is better if I make an effort to spend a little intentional time with each of my kids everyday, even if it’s something quite simple.
Here are a few easy ways I have found to connect with my older kids:
Working Out: My boys are athletic, so working out together usually means I follow their lead. Jogging, bike rides, walking our dog, and even a few weight training sessions have been a great way to hang out one-on-one and be more present! It’s also fun to let each of them teach me the basics of their favorite sports.
Card Games: I recently taught our older son to play cribbage. It’s so fun to sit outside on our patio and have an evening two-player card game. It’s less competitive and more casual than family game night.
Art: My younger son has been interested in sketching and drawing on photoshop. Skillshare is generously offering two free months of classes in illustration, design and more. It’s been fun to watch the lessons and learn together.
Cooking and Eating: With restaurants being limited to carry out and our budget for dining out reduced, we have been eat almost every meals at home. We have had some interesting pantry meals and created some new family favorites such as a chocolate banana smoothie. Meal planning, teaching simple dishes, baking, picnicking and sitting down together to eat are all great ways to connect.
Organize: Spending time to organize a box of photos or going through an old box of toys can be a fun way to relive memories! Setting a time limit can make this productive and not too painful of a chore! I have been sorting some old family memorabilia and the kids have enjoyed seeing my old childhood photos!
Hopefully you can find some fun and easy ways to connect with your kids as they get older! It’s easy to get caught up in schoolwork, chores and activities, but one-on-one time is fun, fulfilling and can be as simple as a walk around the block!
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Easy Ways to Connect with Older Kids by Julie Livermore, capturing indoor and outdoor milestone sessions from birth and beyond!