5 ways to increase quality time with your child
The question I frequently get asked in workshops and 1:1 clients is how can I have more quality time with my child or more quality time with each of my children (if there is more than one).
When you think of that question, your mind automatically goes to, “Where can I find more time – I’m maxed out and exhausted as it is…”
Yes, you can cram more stuff into the time you already feel you lack. But I don’t think this is the answer.
We should be asking a different question:
How can I increase the quality of connection in the time we have?
Think about a time you deeply kissed a partner, or a moment when you were poolside reading a book. Was it the length of time you were connected with in that moment or was it the quality of the connection you had to what you were doing in that moment that mattered most?
I’m willing to bet it wasn’t the time.
When you are spending time with your child, focusing on the quality of connection you have with them is what will enable you to experience an increased quality time, usually in less ‘clock’ time.
Here are five ways you can increase the quality of your connection:
1. Set a timer – sounds simple and it is. If you like to clock-watch and you find yourself getting distracted with all the things you have to do (like me), setting a timer allows you to relax and focus entirely on your child for those 5, 10 or 15 minutes. If I know I’m speaking at an event in the evening, I’ll get dressed early and put a timer on for 10 minutes to hang out with my children before I have to leave. Try it.
2. Breathe – take a few breaths to centre yourself before you interact with your child. Whether you’re doing chores, in the car or having 1:1 time, notice the sounds, colours and textures in your surroundings. This brings you into the moment and increases your presence and your openness to connect.
3. Speak their language – Tailor your language to speak to them in their motivation style. For example, if you child doesn’t like to be told what to do, invite them to make a suggestion of what you can do together “what would you like to do?” If your child prefers to be told what to do, make a suggestion of what to do – “How about we play X?” This is known as ‘pacing’ The more you can pace your child in their motivation style, the more rapport/connection you build.
4. Learn about love languages – Discover your own and your child’s love language. In which way does your child feel loved? My primary love language is “words of affirmation.” I like to hear words of affection or read them in a note or card. One of my son’s love language is “quality time.” By putting little notes in his lunch box (words of affirmation) this would be my love language preference. By taking him to park to play handball (quality time) is speaking in his language. Take the free quiz to find out your love language. There is a quiz for children too.
5. Be kind to yourself. There are going to be times where time escapes you or when you are distracted when you are with your child. Be compassionate and forgive yourself. Focus on the next opportunity that arises.
What helps you to increase your connection with your child?
1. Download the Parent as Leader whitepaper
Increase your presence, connectivity and quality time. Claim back up to 10 hours per week, every week for you, your family and your child. – click here
2. Grab a copy of my book
Order here and receive a signed copy. It’s called Smart Parenting – How to Develop Your Child’s Mindset, Resilience and Courage for the Future of Work. I like to think of it as practical guide for moment to moment parenting to raise awesome kids.
3. Come to a LIVE event
Click here for details on current events.
4. Work with me one-on-one
If you’d like to work directly with me to rediscover presence in your relationships, be more productive at work and create a life you love, book in a time to discuss your situation and see if we might be a fit.