As we get back to the hustle and bustle of the school year, it can sometimes feel as though we are losing precious time with our kiddos.
I want to encourage you to create moments with your kiddos. Those unexpected windows of time together have the capacity to be the most memorable!
Ask Specific Questions
“Yes” or “no” questions will not lead to the open conversation you are craving. Ask specific questions. For example: “How was STEM today? Did you begin a new project?” This not only leads to a longer response, but also shows you remember details about their day even though they are away from you.
Need other conversation starter ideas? Try presenting a situation and ask “what would you do?” Ask in an excited or theatrical way, encouraging your kiddo to respond excitedly rather than feeling as though their response will be judged. (Our Character Building Story Cards serve as conversation starters.)
Offer to Drive
As our children get older, they are involved in more and more extra-curricular activities. Sometimes, there can be a feeling of loss because their time becomes divided. Offer to carpool and pickup other kiddos! You will still be around your child, but you will get to see them amongst their peers. Resist the urge to insert yourself into their chatter. Just listen. This is a rare opportunity for you to be the proverbial fly on the wall.
As they get older, consider allowing the kids to connect to your vehicle Bluetooth. This small gesture shows that you value their individuality rather than judge their different choices in music.
Ask Them To Teach You
What is your kiddo’s interest? Do they draw, create with building blocks, enjoy video games, play a sport or instrument? Ask them to teach you how to do something they love. There are so many benefits to this. Your kiddo will feel seen and supported while learning how to express themselves verbally. You are teaching them how to be a leader and to teach. All the while, you get precious one-on-one time with them!
Not all kiddos are eager to get in the kitchen and help, especially as they get older. However, this is an opportunity to teach them forever life skills while spending quality time together.
I’d like to encourage you to include your child in the meal planning. Go in with an idea of what your family will be eating this week. Then offer your kiddo three options and let them choose (here is a simple one). This is a simple way to give them a voice and opens the door to them sharing openly with you in the future!
When it comes time to cook, turn on music and be willing to get a little silly! Kitchens are made for dancing.
“The kitchen is where memories are homemade and seasoned with love.” ~The Cast Iron Babe