Thursday, April 23, 2009

spending time with children

For those of you still on school holidays (and for the rest of us, too!) here's a great way of thinking about spending time with children. I found it in our kids' school newsletter. It's from Ellen Galinsky's Ask the Children.

Ellen Galinsky asked real kids what they thought about spending time with their parents. She says there are 3 kinds of together time parents can spend with kids:

  • One-on-one time. This is quality time set aside to spend with one child - reading a book, playing a game, talking, going out for a milkshake or taking a child to work. As children become teenagers, she suggests it can be helpful to formalise this time by having a "date" with them a few times a year.
  • Hang around time. This is time when parents and kids are hanging around the house together, often on weekends or during holidays, and interactions come and go. These interactions might happen when you say to your child, "Come and help me bring in the washing" or your child says to you, "Can you help me with this lego?".
  • Rituals and celebrations. These are unique to every family. They might be as simple as a bedtime routine, or as complicated as a Jesse tree at Christmas time. Mealtimes are important times for a family to sit together, chat about what's happening, learn table manners, exchange views and enjoy one another's company - and, hopefully, to read the Bible together! (I added that bit.)
All three kinds of together time build strong relationships within families. I'm going to keep thinking about how to make them part of our family life, both in holidays and term time.

image is from stock.xchng

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