As our children start school and begin to make their journey towards adulthood, it can seem we become a little distant. No longer are we joined at the hip like when they were toddlers. Maybe you feel sad about it or perhaps you think it’s better for your children to have more independence?
If you have had to go back to work part time, you work from home or you are a full time housewife life can get really busy, especially in the mornings and at bedtime. Sometimes it can be like everything goes by in a blur and we suddenly realise we can’t remember the last time we relaxed together or had a proper conversation. If you can relate to this then it’s time to look at ways of regrouping and how you can spend more time together between school and your commitments.
If you have time, a great way to see how your children are dealing with their growing freedom is to volunteer at their school. Not everyday! (You don’t want to be that parent!) Maybe only a handful of times in the academic year? Perhaps you could get involved in planning one of their school tours or find out if they need any reading assistants or lunchtime supervisors. Reading with other children as well as your own is great if you have younger kids. Having mummy or daddy in the classroom can be a real buzz and they look forward to having you on their turf.
Making an effort to stop for dinner is a tradition that seems to have been lost with modern life. More and more of us are eating later or choosing to split dinner time into two sittings. The children and then the adults. Occasionally, we sit and eat watching TV but most days we eat as a family around the table, it is a really important part of the day for us! Personally, I think the loss of family mealtimes is really sad, so do try to bring this routine back into your life. If your partner works late, try to encourage him to get home early once a week so you can all have dinner as a family. TV off, phones away, this is a time to talk about your day and learn more about your children and their individual personalities.
Weekends should be about fun! Whilst busy mums and dads may want a lie in or some quiet time to get on with the housework, children will be full of energy and wanting to play. Look at local activities around you then carve out a few hours of each day, without fail, to nip out and reconnect as a family. You could try horse riding or climbing, even just going for a long walk together is enough to fill their lungs with air and help burn off some excess energy.
Don’t let time go by putting a bigger gap between your family. Get a routine and stick to it. Nothing should be more important than watching your children grow.
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