The end of the year is approaching and you felt like you didn’t spend enough time your children, right? And because of that, you are feeling slightly distant with them compared to how close you see your significant other is with them.
I’m sure there are numerous reasons why you weren’t able to and I’m not looking blame you for those reasons. The time that you spend blaming yourself could be spent better elsewhere.
So here are 3 things you can do, right now, with your kids to dramatically improve your relationship with them.
1. Sacrifice Something Of Yours
Yes I know what your thinking, “sacrificing” something sounds very horrible. If you think about it, if you only have 24 hours in a day, can you take something out of your day and replace it with spending time with your kids? Can you stop watching you favourite TV shows? Can you skip go out and hanging with your buddies for 1 evening? Can you stop doing overtime for your work for just 1 evening? Can you stop playing so much video games?
I know I sacrificed my video game time, that I love very much, and spent that time with my beautiful daughter instead. Because of that sacrifice, I got to spend more learning and play time with her and now she call for me when she wants to play. I don’t know about you, but the feeling of someone who you love a whole lot just call for you, “Ba Ba”, my heart melts each and every time.
This doesn’t change overnight. But by just spending the much needed time with your children, they will see that you are something that they can spend their play time with. Be Diligent!
2. Take On More Housework
Now I can hear some of you saying, “Henry, why are you telling me to do housework?” Hear me out on this one.
There is a study that was done about how if dad’s took on more housework to be nearly equal division of home labour, then that will massively improve on shaping the children’s gender attributes and aspirations.
“The strongest predictor of daughters’ own professional ambitions was their fathers’ approach to household chores.” Alyssa Croft, a PhD Candidate in the University of British Columbia’s Department of Psychology
The words that you tell them on a regular basis, “Be a Better Person”, or “Make sure to love your sibling” are all very nice words and they may learn from it. But your children are watching everything that you do, learning from the non-verbal things that you do.
“Action speaks louder than words”
I personally took on more housework in my family (e.g. washing dishes and laundry, cleaning up the play area every night, even vacuuming) because I know my daughter watches what I do closely. She is learning how me and my wife interacts to household chores, to how we delegate our roles, and what gender equality means to us, as a family.
Now, my daughter is actually having with my vacuum, she plays around with it thinking that it’s fun, but that is the first step of making “housework” fun for everyone!
Additional information about this study can be found here at the Association for Psychological Science
3. Talk To Them Like An Adult
Kids dream of wanting to be an adult. So treat them like one (but dont forget to treat them as kids too!)
Talk to them like you would talk to your friends, fun, serious, intellectual, and even casual! Note: be mindful of the language you use as they WILL pick those up in like seconds.
My daughter (even at 14 months old) knows the difference between when I’m playing with her or when I tell her that I am busy. She knows to either go find mommy, stand there to wait till I’m free, or go and play by herself. She doesn’t go into a meltdown or throw tantrums, she knows if she does she won’t get happy parents.
So here are the 3 things that I use on a consistent daily basis that I think you can definitely take advantage and implement.
Do you have other ways that you would like to share? Let talk about it in the comments below!