parenting, kids, spending time with the kids, families

Spending quality time with the kids doesn’t need to cost a fortune. You don’t need to take them on some lavish outing, especially if you can’t afford it – that just causes stress for all of you.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Get Dads Involved In Parenting

Instead, there are some really simple and inexpensive ways to spend time with the kids that you can both enjoy. The primary thing to remember is that they want your undivided attention, and that’s about all they want.

Going for a walk

When was the last time you went for a stroll with the kids just to walk and talk to them? It’s so simple but quite often parents have a way of complicating things. The walk doesn’t have to be to a specific destination, make it a bit of an adventure and let them lead the way.

A key thing to note is to leave the technology at home or use it only in an emergency. There’s no point taking the kids for a walk if you’re on the phone the entire time or distracted with other things.

Going for a drive

Last week my son asked if we could go for a drive to nowhere in particular. I have to admit, at first I wasn’t too keen as I had other plans that day. Yet wanting to spend some extra alone time with him, I agreed, and we both ended up having an amazing outing.

We got into the car, just the two of us, and together we decided which direction to drive. Even younger kids will have an idea of where they would like to go. For us this provided an excellent opportunity to have a great conversation. That’s not always an easy task with teens and despite only spending a few hours together, we both continue to feel that connection.

Get involved with their school work

Parents of younger kids will often help with reading and writing tasks. Yet as they get older parents will leave school work predominately to their kids. Many parents have no idea what they are learning at school, particularly in high school. We nag to get the work done but really that’s often where parental input stops.

Ideally, kids want their parents to be involved in their schooling and that includes high school aged kids. Particularly if you’ve got a child who’s not doing homework, being aware of what tasks they have can help them significantly. Plus it provides a perfect opportunity to spend time together.

You can then organize outings which revolve around their schooling. This not only boosts their interest, but it will motivate them to be more productive. You’ll end up spending less time nagging about schoolwork, which equates to more quality time together.

Keep it simple

As basic as it sounds parents need to remind themselves to keep parenting simple. Don’t put additional pressure on yourself to provide a magnificent day out when a few stress free hours together on a regular basis is all they need. It’s all about listening to your kids, sharing their world, their woes and providing your undivided attention. It really is that simple!

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