As a first time mum of a newborn, each day felt like a year.

Life revolved around naps, nappies and nourishment and I counted down the hours until my partner would get home from work to take a turn. I remember getting irritated when my mum told me to stop complaining – but rather to savour every moment as time passes by so fast.

And she was right (aren’t mums always!). In what felt like a blur and a blink of an eye, my baby is now a toddler. Life is even busier than before and I’m juggling a job and a never-ending pile of laundry. But I realise that it’s even more important now to pause, breathe and enjoy some quality time before my daughter is suddenly a teen. Stopping my chores to spend quality time with my child does make me feel anxious that I’m not getting anything ‘productive’ done, but it’s making such a difference in my child’s life (and mine) that I know it’s worth it.

We’ve teamed up with Biostime® to take a look at why quality time is so crucial:

Get to know your child’s strengths and opportunities for development

I love that by giving my child my undivided attention, even if it’s for 30 minutes a day, I am able to get a clearer idea of her strengths as well as areas where she can develop. This way, I can provide opportunities which take advantage of her strong points and helps develop her weaknesses, to help her reach her full potential.

Make your child feel loved and valued

It’s so important to tell your child you love them every day. It’s so simple and yet really easy to forget to do this. Do not take it for granted that your child may know this already. Tell them and then tell them again! I also try and remember to tell my daughter how important she is to me and how happy/excited/proud she makes me feel. There is no expiry date as to when you should stop telling your child you love them. Even when they’re an adult with their own kids, they will still benefit from hearing the affirmation of your love for them.

Feeling loved, valued and important are the building blocks for positive self-esteem and self-worth.

 Strengthen your bond

Spending one-on-one time with your kids is one of the best ways to develop your relationship and grow closer together. This individual time helps to build trust and create memories. I immediately notice my child is far more affectionate after I’ve filled up her ‘cup of quality time’. When life gets in the way and her cup drains dry, she pulls away and becomes more distant.

Give them a safe place to share their thoughts and feelings

I find that my daughter’s behaviour is directly connected to how much quality time she gets with myself and my partner. Most people enjoy a good vent, so being a trusted confidante to your child is priceless. She will learn over time that she can trust you completely and you provide a safe environment to share her innermost thoughts and feelings without judgement. I find if she is able to get her frustrations off her chest during our quality time chats, she hardly ever melts down.

Instil good values and allow them to learn by example

I am a big believer in leading by example. If you’d like your child to display a certain behaviour, the best way to teach them how to do this is by demonstrating this behaviour yourself.

By spending more time with your child, she will have the chance to mirror your good behaviour and pick up positive habits and values. This becomes even more important in the later years when friends could provide bad influences. So setting a strong example and foundation early on could help offset these negative pressures.

Ideas for spending quality time with your little one

Get your child involved in cooking

My daughter loves to be the kitchen helper. She enjoys having the responsibility for setting the table and often gets involved in preparing meals. It’s much easier and quicker to get the tasks done without her ‘help’, but I use this as a chance for some quality time. I teach her about different fruit, vegetables and other ingredients and she gets to taste, chop and mix. I’m a passionate foodie so it really does give me pleasure that she enjoys busying around the kitchen as much as I do. It’s a real bonding process for us.

Switch off the TV and just talk to your child

It’s so easy to just turn on Netflix or YouTube Kids or hand them an iPad so you can get along with chores. But it’s important to make a conscious effort to go technology-free, even if it’s just for half an hour. Sit and chat with your child and find out what their best and worst bits of the day was. Then share something that happened in your day. You’ll be surprised where the conversation may lead.

Go for a walk and let them point out all the interesting things along the way

These days, for me, exercise has to have a purpose and I’m too busy to just go for a walk to smell the roses. But I know my child loves to go on a nature adventure – which could be simply walking to the end of the road. She stops and examines every flower and speaks to every bug she sees along the way. If we’re in a hurry, this usually drives me insane but if it’s quality time I’m after, then I try and relax and just embrace her curiosity.

Play whatever they want to play

I find playing kiddie games a bit boring but I know how much my daughter loves it when I play at her level. Her favourite is when I play Barbies with her or even just a game of snakes and ladders. The effort definitely doesn’t go unnoticed.

Read to them

For me, this is one of the most enjoyable ways to enjoy quality time. I love reading with my daughter and we’ve spent many a night giggling at funny books and getting absorbed in fairy tales. We often go to the library together to pick out books and then cuddle up on the comfy couches and I’ll read to her for ages. I love that this activity combines education with quality time. Bonus!

Have a sing a long or dance with them

My daughter adores music and dancing so one of our favourite things to do is to turn the music up high and just dance. We take turns being DJ and we just let loose and boogie. It’s such fun and good exercise too.

Laugh and be silly

Life can be really serious at times and being a parent is often not an easy job. So I try and let loose with my daughter every now and again and just giggle. We’ll tell silly jokes, make ridiculous faces, have tickle fights or just laugh for the fun of it. We both feel wonderful afterwards.

Let’s not forget the crucial pre-requisite to quality time

We’ve now gone through how important it is to spend quality time with our kids. But just as crucial is to spend some quality time with yourself.

You need to invest some time and effort into looking after yourself so that you have the free energy to embrace quality time with your child.

For many of you, these tips will already be a part of your everyday routine, and the point is that any time with your child can be a moment that matters.

It’s all about being mindful and really savouring each moment you spend together and making it special for the both of you.

Looking for more ways to spend quality time with your little ones? Head to www.biostime.com.au/parent-lounge for additional inspiration and advice. As a global
leader in paediatric nutrition,  Biostime®  is bringing together parents to share, connect, celebrate and learn more about the triumphs and tensions of parenting the Next Generation.

What is your favourite way to spend quality time with your kids? Tell us in the comments below.


  • put your phone down and be present in the moment. Ask them about their day but ask questions like “what was your favourite thing at kinder today” not just how was kinder, take an interest and sing silly songs just because you can

    Reply


  • And really, a short 5 minutes for us feels a whole lot longer to a child. It really is as simple as colouring in together, dancing to The Wiggles together, going to a park and enjoying a cino together. They do grow up so fast.

    Reply


  • Arts and crafts are big in my home both of mine love us doing it as a family

    Reply


  • These are some great tips. I used to make a meal in the slow cooker so by the time I got home I just had to put on some veges and dinner was ready. It made room to spend time with my boys and find out how there day went.

    Reply


  • Always have a meal at the table, all devices banned, and one on one talks. Children can ask anything they want, something they are troubled by, or something they want to save for, or why they like or dislike a particular person – anything. And mum must be non judgemental, talk things through with them and let them invite their friends to these meals too if their friends parents let them be involved. Spending time with children when they are young will bring awesome results when they are much older too.

    Reply


  • Some very good and healthy reminders here!

    Reply


  • As my children range from 6-36 in years it is different things i do. Mainly with the older children it is Sunday lunch or dinner. The younger ones is just taking time out to do what they want sometimes it is playing in their play ground or something simple as cuddling up and listening to a movie.

    Reply


  • Now that my children are a bit older and I have a grandchild, I love to invite them over once a week for a great family meal. They appreciate experience in the kitchen and homely food. It brings such joy to us all when eating together.

    Reply


  • Best time when they are little. They are like little sponges and soak up all you have to offer. I loved playing games, singing, playing paydough etc with them when they were little.

    Reply


  • As a working single mum with a youngster I found that the time travelling to work with him was very special – we practised talking from what we could see from the bus windows and because it was the same time each day others on the bus were regulars too and also got to know and talk to my son. It was a wonderful special time that we both enjoyed and helped us both to get to know each other and bond even stronger

    Reply


  • we love being silly, making up silly songs, pretending we are cats or dogs or drawing (doing homework the boys call it)

    Reply


  • I’m not great at playing, but we’ve found other things we enjoy together.

    Reply


  • I’m so lucky to have gotten to spend a lot of time with my little one. I love doing new things with him and watching his face light up.

    Reply


  • When my daughter was younger we spent a lot of time together reading, drawing and playing, in particular Lego constructions. We both loved it. :-)

    Reply


  • I totally agree that it is important to spend quality time with your children but i am also a believe that you need to spend time away from them so they aren’t too reliant on you! You need to let them get ready to go to school and face the world without you and cherish the moments you get to spend together. We shouldnt shame the parents that have to work and can’t spend as much time with their children as others that have part time/ casual jobs or stay at home mums.
    I love spending time with my children outside while they run in the sprinkler during summer.

    Reply

Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?

No picture uploaded yet
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.

Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just submit?

Write A Rating Just Submit
Join