Create Family Time In The Day
This can be as simple as blocking off family meal times, whether you all have a nice breakfast together every morning before you get out the door, sit down to a family dinner every night, or set aside time every week for family game night. And of course, it’ll depend on schedules, both yours and theirs. But look for a consistent time where you can talk as a family, and work it into the day.
Often, the answer to talking to your kids is as simple as asking them what’s going on. For all the eye rolls and sarcasm you might get, kids generally are happy to know their parents care. Ask about what they’re doing in school, what they’re reading or watching online, what hobbies they’re interested in. If they know you care, they’re far more likely to talk to you about what they’re up to, and even start a conversation themselves.
And don’t forget, this is a two-way street. Kids appreciate honesty, and if they ask you about work or what else is going on, answer honestly, to the extent that you’re able to.
Ask Them To Pitch In
If you’ve got an uncomplicated task you’re working on, and they’re free, ask them to help you with it. As you work, you can chat to pass the time, or even bring up things to talk about. Shared work often gives you a strong emotional connection with whoever you’re working with, and it can be, among other things, a fun way for your kids to pass the time or learn something about how you run the house.
Find A Family Hobby Or Project
You’ll often find people’s fondest memories of their parents revolve around a big family project—be it a Thanksgiving dinner where everybody pitched in, a treehouse parents and kids built together, or a shared passion for a sport, an activity, a beloved book…the list goes on.
Don’t try to force that shared passion – it might already be right in front of you. If the kids are asking to start a project of some sort, see if you can join them. Even something as simple as volunteering to help with school projects they’re doing can make a lot of time to talk.
Limit Screen Time
Finally, make sure that you and your kids have limits to when you use screens, both tablets and phones and larger screens like laptops or TVs. It’s too easy to get sucked into a game, a TV show, or a book and simply stop talking to each other until it’s time for bed or school. By setting aside the screens for a moment, you’ll be able to simply stop and talk as a family. Parental control apps can be helpful tools for limiting screen time.
Interested in finding some more time to connect with your kids? If you need help keeping screen use to a healthy level, try a parental control app like Screen Time.