Often, we think that the best gifts we can give to our kids are something that’s talked about in the morning shows or the one that’s hard to find since it’s always sold out. Or it may be something listed on your child’s Christmas wishlist but the truth is, it’s NOT.
Yes, you read that right, the best gift you can ever give as a parent is not the toy you see in a shopping store’s aisle or the most expensive bike that your kid has been eyeing on for months. In fact, it’s something you can readily give whether you have a massive monthly income or not.
Ever heard of the saying: “the best things in life are free?” Guess what? It’s true!
So what exactly am I talking about? What gift is it that’s meaningful, especially to your child?
The answer is obvious but I’m sure you’ll be surprised. It’s none other than — your TIME.
Yes, your time. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or dad or a working one, you know that the time we spend doing other things, including our screentime, would add up to days — days that we could have spent with our little ones.
I’m guilty of this. I’m a stay-at-home mom but since I have work and a business to take care of, I’m on my phone most of the time.
Even if my kid’s beside me, we rarely spend a full hour without touching my phone and now that I’m talking about it, I feel disappointed with myself. It may be hard to admit but honestly, it would make a difference if we could spend more hours connected with them.
No phones or other technology. Just you and your child.
In case you don’t know yet, too much screen time can put a strain on anyone’s relationship, and that includes yours and your child. It may also result in obesity, depression, anxiety, and poor grades.
Here are a few things to ponder when it comes to giving time to your loved ones:
Prioritize Taking Extra Time For Your Child
How many hours do we spend working? What are the things we cancel to comply with our business trip? What if we take quality time with family as serious as the time we devote to our job?
Time is something most of us want to have but unfortunately, we cannot take it back. So before we missed any moment, before our little one started walking, talking, or going out, be sure to spend our days with them wisely. Create a family calendar and get your children involved when booking a family trip. Make a meal plan and cook it together. Or it can be as simple as watching a movie or talking about anything under the sun.
Looking for fun activities for kids you can do at home or outside? Here are a few article suggestions:
- 9 Activities That Would Make Your Child Physically And Mentally Active This Summer
- After-School Activities: Skill-Boosting Extracurricular For Kids Ages 2-12 Years Old
- 8 Fool-Proof Indoor Activities For Toddlers — Even Your Husband Will Love!
- Family Cheap Thrills – 11 Fun Summer Activities You Can Do On A Budget
- 5 Fun Family Night Activities With Kids Before You Go To Sleep + Our Top Picks
Forget Screen Time, Go Green Time Instead
Sure, it’s fun to play games using a phone, talk to a loved one and use cool stickers via messenger, double-tap photos of beaches and nature but it can never replace outdoors.
Not only will you and your child have fun experiencing life outside the home but also, it will help develop senses that technology has otherwise depleted.
So, go out, explore nature, and form a bond that is stronger and better than before!
Balance. Balance. Balance.
While it’s always a better idea to spend time with your loved one, you know that you also have work to do, especially if you’re the breadwinner. As much as possible, you want to extend your working hours so you can get a higher pay this month but aside from missing out on a lot of things at home, you’re also exhausting yourself. The result? When you go home, you’ll have no energy for your kids.
So, the key is a balance. At work, do your job so you don’t have to spend more time at the office. If you want more cash, you can try other sources of passive income. At home, put out the technology and use the time to your loved ones alone. If you can turn off your work phone, then do so.
You might not notice it now but sooner or later, your little prince or princess will grow into a woman or man and you can have more time for other things. For now, just cherish what you have while it lasts!
Here’s to hoping that you and your family could have a happy and peaceful holiday season.