Time is a commodity. A scarce resource. We all feel like there is not enough of it. But, it’s one of the most important things we can give our children.
Time spent with the people we love builds connection. It creates a sense of safety and trust in the relationship.
It creates a space that helps your child feel safe enough with you to show you their big emotions. When they feel safe, the likelihood that that will come to you when they need help increases.
Spending time with someone you love also releases feel good hormones which can regulate emotions, sleep, and appetite.
Spending time shows your child they are important to you. It demonstrates they are worthy of your time, and builds their self-esteem.
Hopefully, this is evidence enough to try some of these fun ways to spend time with your child.
- Snuggle with them when you get home from work. Everything else can wait.
- Play hide and go seek outside or in
- Lay a blanket out in the back yard and watch the clouds (remember guessing what each cloud looked like as a kid?), or play “I Spy”
- Take turns giving each other a head, hand or shoulder massage (feet too if that doesn’t gross you out)
- Have a pillow fight
- Let them pick their favorite music and dance with them
- Create art together
- Build a fort out of blankets, couch cushions, and furniture
- Read together
- Build with clay or play dough
- Have a conversation, ask them about things that are important to them, let them tell you uninterrupted
- Plant a garden on the weekend and work on it 15 minutes a day
- Go outside before bedtime and look at the stars
- Decompress with your child at bed time, chat with them about the day, allow them to open up to you at their pace
- Let them choose an activity
In order to make the most out of this time with your child the following rules apply:
- No judging or teaching or evaluating
- Have fun just because
- Let them be the leader
- Give your child your undivided attention (do not check your phone and, if you can avoid it, don’t even bring your phone)
Was this helpful? Email me your thoughts and experiences trying this technique at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you feeling like the daily struggle is just too much? Are you worried your child may have needs that extend beyond what you are currently able to offer them? Do you live in Central New York? If you are interested in learning more about psychotherapy and play therapy for your child I can be reached at 315-737-3094 or email@example.com
Jennie Mazza Jones, LCSW, CCPT has a private practice located in Clinton NY, where she specializes in providing psychotherapy to children and their caregivers utilizing Play Therapy. Jennie helps kids who long to feel accepted, want to do well, and wish they could control their worries, anger, and behaviors, but struggle because they communicate in a way that many adults don’t understand. She also helps parents/caregivers who want to help the important children in their lives reach their truest potential, but are afraid to make the wrong move, fear the worst, or are just unsure of what to do next. Jennie can be reached 315-737-3094, firstname.lastname@example.org and www.jenniemazzajones.com