School holidays offer an opportunity for the family to spend more time together and for the parents to build positive communication and relationship with their children. Many parents already multi-tasking, may think that planning for holiday activities for their children stressful. Some international studies show that about two-thirds of children do not agree with their parents about what is quality time. Some parents who are very busy may consider cooking or watching TV in the same room to be quality time spent with their children. But would your children agree?
From children’s perspective, quality time includes direct and full attention of their parents. Some may say that the time should enable talking about significant issues and practising useful shared activities. The importance of spending relaxed time in one another’s company such as going for a walk cannot be understated. Sometimes it 's hard to find the ‘right’ time to spend with children. The more grown up they are, the more challenging it can be to find the time. Never forget that your relationship with your children is the most important factor in their emotional and social growth.
Apart from shared activities, quality time with children includes quality communication, too. Make time to talk with your children and develop your active listening skills. It is important in building an open and honest relationship, creating an atmosphere where children can feel free to take up any issues. While conversing, remember to listen to what your child has to say and not interrupt or finish their sentences. Foster your child’s curiosity and interests by asking a lot of ‘Why?’ and ‘How?’ questions. Responding to these questions help children to learn how to express their thoughts and feelings. Let children talk about themselves, about what they like to do, about their worries. Conversations like this in your family will help in creating an atmosphere of trust and acceptance that will pay off in dividends in future years.
Do you have the time to give this gift?