Are you a bad parent because you neglect your children from Mondays through Fridays because you’re drowning in work and you need that job to fulfil family needs? It is natural to feel guilty and you’re not alone in this.
Based on a study done involving 2,000 parents of kids aged 3-18, most parents find it extremely hard to clear their mind off work to solely concentrate on family bonding –the main goal is to really connect with kids.
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How much time do you need to connect with kids?
Parents say that they need at least 30 minutes to connect with kids after a long gruelling day at work. But a study shows that you need only half that time if you truly disconnect with all technology and devices to focus on your children. Then, all it takes is 12 minutes to bond. Steer away from technology and work so that you can devote time to engage with your kid(s).
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How to make full use of quality time
Image source: iStock
Dr Claire Halsey, a child psychologist said: “It’s hard for working parents to juggle all their responsibilities and it can feel like guilt is simply a parent’s lot – but it’s absolutely not.”
She added: “By using clever tactics such as a little preparation alongside the use of open-ended questions – such as Tell me what the best bit about your day was? – parents can reduce the time worrying about chores and work and spend more time learning about their children’s day.”
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Suggestions of questions
Here is a list of open-ended questions to ask. In order to be able to better connect with kids, depending on their age.
3-4 years old
- What toys did you play with today– what were their names?
- Who is taller – daddy or your teacher?
- Tell me the most fun game you played today…
4-8 years old
- Can you act out what did during recess?
- Can you guess what I did today?
- Tell me how many times you smiled today and what made you laugh?
Image source: iStock
8-14 years old
- I have a very interesting story for you, but you’d need to tell me one first!
- I am all ears for some hot school gossip—do tell!
- What homework project are you working on—can I help or give ideas?
- What plans do you have with your friends this week?
Twelve Minute Manual
Dr Halsey worked with the makers of Ribena Plus who commissioned the research came out with a helpful guide called the Twelve Minute Manual. It is essentially a booklet with 30 activities you can do to connect with your kid—basically an activity for every day of the month. Click here to view the manual.
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