If you have a full time job, chances are that you don't get to spend too much time with your children during the week. Weekdays probably whiz past without you realizing it. So turn whatever time you do spend with them into quality time.
What is quality time anyway? Some people feel it is simply an excuse for busy parents who have little time to spare for their kids. Quality time is much more than that. You could be around chatting on the telephone while your child is in her bedroom doing her own thing, or you could be busy cooking, cleaning or watching telelvision, while your child is studying. No doubt some children enjoy having a parent at home, but unless you make sure that you are actually sitting and talking with your child or doing something with your child, you are not really spending quality time with your child.
Maximize your and your child's enjoyment together, by watching great movies and listening to music together.
Children love going for movies to the cinema. Although some parents take their children for regular movies suited to all age groups, your child will no doubt enjoy herself more if you take her for a children's movie. Also, childhood lasts for a very short time, and you want your child to make the most of it. Fun children's movies can give your child memories to last a lifetime.
Watch an old family classic at home together, like The Sound of Music or My Fair Lady. Young children may miss certain points of the plot, and you can keep explaining it to them. Sound of Music has a historical element to it, where Capt. Von Trapp refuses to support the Nazis, putting himself and his family in danger. You could give your children a brief backgrounder about the Nazis, Jews and Hitler. Can you think of a more enjoyable way of educating your children?
After your child has seen the movie, you could perhaps get the music and let your child hear it. Help her learn the words and sing along with her. As 28-year-old Mary says, "One of my favourite memories is singing along with my mother." Mary's mother taught her the song "Edelweiss" from the movie, and every time Mary hears the song, she immediately remembers her mother. Isn't this a fun way of establishing a bond?
How often do you sing to your children, or teach them songs? Do this regularly. Your children don't have to be musically gifted, and neither do you. If you feel your voice is really intolerable, then teach them songs with the help of tapes. Don't just put them on for your child. Make it a point to sing along with your child. Music and rhythm help increase your child's vocabulary and sentence structure. Your child will be able to speak longer sentences in a shorter time, because she will be used to singing entire songs at a stretch.
Christmas is coming. What better time to teach your child Christmas carols? Get a cassette of Christmas carols and teach them to your children. Tell them the story of Christmas. You don't have to be Christian – giving your child an insight into another culture is another form of education.