As a mom of four I can tell you that it's been quite a challenge lately to spend quality time with all of my kids, especially the older ones. Life with a newborn and a busy toddler has left me exhausted and I feel like I'm spread pretty thin most days. I worry about my older kids being left to their own devices and feeling left out when compared to their younger siblings. Sometimes it feels like there just aren't enough hours in the day to spend quality time with everyone! I've had to get creative with how I sneak in those smile worthy moments and reconnect, and here's how I do it.
Talk about their day. Do you ever try to ask your kids how their day at school was? Seriously, sometimes I'm so eager for conversation (after being home alone with the babies all day) and when I ask my kids "How was school?" all I get in return is a quick "fine" or "good" before they rush to the kitchen for a snack and then head to their rooms. Instead, I've been trying a different method of questioning, such as:
What was the best/worst part of your day?
What made you laugh today?
Did you help anyone today?
What did you do at recess?
What would your teacher say about you today?
What was your favorite thing you ate for lunch today?
Asking specific questions like these will get your kids to open up more, versus the same old boring "How was school" question. Instead, grab their favorite snack, sit down with your kids, and get creative with your questions and see how much they start talking. I found this little time to reconnect after school sets the tone for the whole rest of the evening.
Family game night. Sometimes we need to break up a long, boring school week with something fun. It's easy to fall into the routine of homework, chores, dinner, showers, and bedtime every single school night, and it's enough to drive me crazy by the time Wednesday hits. That's when it's time for game night! Sometimes we go old school and break out the board games or a deck of cards, and sometimes we just opt for an interactive dance or sports video game (a great option when we need to burn off some extra energy and move around!) Game night is definitely a weeknight favorite around here, and a great way to break up a long week.
Movie night. Friday night in our house is movie night. Whether it's a new movie we've been wanting to see or an old favorite, movie night always brings a smile to everyone's face and gets us all together in the same room. Gather up your favorite snacks, drinks, cozy blankets, and pile up on the couch together!
Go for a bike ride or walk. Family bike rides/walks are one of our favorite things to do together as a family that keeps us active. It's a great way to get out of the house, burn off some energy, and reconnect with all of my kids. We like to make a pit stop at the playground near us and stop to play for a while too.
All of these ideas are great ways to spend some quality time with my kiddos and create smile worthy moments with them. You'll notice they can all be paired with a snack (one of our favorite things to do around here) like Goldfish crackers. These are a staple in our house! They're baked with real cheese and contain no artificial flavors or preservatives. With 12 grams of whole grain in every serving, Goldfish crackers are a snack I can feel good about giving my kids that always puts a smile on their faces!
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What are your favorite ways to create smile worthy moments and reconnect with your kids?