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👩‍👦"15 Minute Hack To Boost Quality Time With Your Child"

(5 Minute Read) How to get a full weekend vacation of intentional time with your kid this year!

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My little brother just turned 10. Yes, I know, there's a big age gap – a 14-year age difference, to be exact. This age difference has had a huge influence on raising him, especially with our dad who works and travels extensively. He might be gone for a couple of months at a time, so my little bro has become my buddy. I consider him not just my brother but also my best friend. Even in my contacts his name is under best friend.

However, now that he's entering the pre-teen stage, he's developing a bunch of new buddies. His interest in video games sometimes makes it challenging for us to spend as much time together as we used to, especially with my new job on the night shift. Consequently, I can't pick him up as often or help him with his homework like I used to.

Our hangout sessions, which used to last three to four hours, are now reduced to 15 or 30 minutes before he has to go to bed. This change is due to my work schedule – I come home at 8:15, and I also need to get up early. This can ruin the relationship if not taking the proper steps to keep growing the relationship.

But we still have 365 days in a year, and I know that if we take a small amount of time each day for intentional hangouts, we'll notice a difference. Give it one year, and we will see a change. But before we continue this conversation, go support the sponsor we love today, here’s a quick ad for them.

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I understand the deadlines for many parents who have to juggle two jobs. I am currently in the same situation. I also understand that parents may have work shifts where they can only take their children to school, and someone else has to bring them back home. Alternatively, they could be gone for 12-14 hour shifts, only getting to see their children late at night.

Here's a trick for you that I'm also going to start doing, and it might seem insignificant now. However, when you add up the time spent over a year, you'll realize you've spent way more time than you thought. Let's cut to the chase.

What we will do is simply spend 15 minutes with your kids. Yes, that's it. I know you're going to say, 'I already do that when I pick them up or drop them off, or when we sit down to do homework or cook.' I agree, you might have that time. However, the challenge is going to be making it a dedicated 15 minutes of intentional time. For some people, this might feel a little weird or different because of our attachment to phones, games, TV, or the need to carry work from home, trying to squeeze in some quick cooking time.

There are some people, including me—specifically me—who struggle to spend a dedicated 15 minutes completely free of other distractions. So yes, we might spend 15 minutes slowly on intentional time, but that involves setting a timer on your phone for 15 minutes. During this time, put away any devices or distractions. I'm not going to force him to join me in a no-distractions zone. Instead, I'll go where my brother is, engage in conversation.

*Please give a gentle round of applause too…*

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