Time with the kids is precious.
You really begin to understand this as the kids grow up and especially as those long, relaxing days of summer turn into the more busy back-to-school hours that are beginning this month.
When the kids are born, you have approximately 940 Saturdays together before they fly the coop. Yes, someone somewhere counted up all those days and we get less than a thousand weekends (really not much when you look at it like that, is it).
When they’re young, “The days are long but the years are short” as Gretchen Rubin would say. Then they get older and both the days and the years fly by quickly.
I only have 55 more Saturdays with my oldest.
And here’s what’s been eating at me lately --- as the kids get older, their schedule becomes full of things (fun things) that they want to do. BUT (and it’s a big but), they still REALLY need that time with you!
Think about it, they need to learn all kinds of life skills before they move out and head to college or get a job (you do want them to move out someday, right?) For example, who teaches them to brush their teeth, clean up their room and how to use their manners?
Who’s going to help them get a bank account and learn to manage their money?
Who’s going to teach them to drive? Or make something other than toast and cereal to eat?
Yep, we are -- "come hell or high water" (as my grandparents would say), we're the ones to prepare them for the world.
And they still need guidance and advice – they may not want to ADMIT they need your guidance and advice ;) but they do.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my #timeisprecious hashtag and our college visits this past weekend for our oldest.
COLLEGE Visits People!
I. Am. Not. Ready!
But it was amazing how much we discussed during those visits. There are so many life experiences that parents have and need to share with our kids.
Like the fact that you need to pay to do your laundry (yea, remember all those quarters).
Or how to share a room with a perfect stranger after having a bedroom to yourself for your whole life.
Or how to manage your time so you can get everything done, keep your grades up and still have fun.
Bottom line ~
I know things get busy once back-to-school hits and schedules fill up real quick. Which is why #timeisprecious and we all need to make the most of it.
10 Ways to Spend Time with Kids During the School Year
1. Read together – read anything: comics, newspaper, homework assignments, read aloud books each night during snacktime or those crazy email jokes that their grandmother always sends the kids :)
2. Spend time in the kitchen together – getting kids in the kitchen offers them a great opportunity to learn some life skills. They can help set table, prep meals, bake something yummy and even practice some math while you cook. Plus, it's a ton of fun and kids always love to be the 'official taste-tester'!
3. Declare ‘family time’ on the weekends – in my house, family time is NOT optional! If the kids are part of a sports team or group activity, they need to attend practice and be part of the team. It’s no different with families – spending time as a family unit (and only a family unit – none of this bringing along friends) is vital to building relationships with your kids. So get it on the schedule. I don’t care if it’s a 30 minute bike ride or a walk to the park. Just make family time AS IMPORTANT as all the other commitments in their life.
4. Make Dinner special one night each week – I know it can be hard to not rush through dinner on the weekdays but special things can slow down the meal and make it more memorable. Light candles during dinner -- it's amazing to see the kids mesmerized by flickering fire and melting wax.
You can also turn on some music, tell everyone they can only talk in pig latin or have a question jar the kids can choose from for fun family discussions.
5. Turn off the electronics on the way to/from school – whether you walk or drive, devote that time to connecting with the kids instead of listening to the radio or keeping up with texts. Younger kids love to sing in the car or play 'I spy'. For older kids, go over spelling words, ask them what they are looking forward to that day or talk about what happened on the way home from school.
6. Get outside – take a family walk, head to the playground for a scavenger hunt afterschool, take a bike ride together or go hiking on the weekends. It’s amazing what happens when there’s nothing around but trees and sky!
7. Enjoy family movie night is always a great time! Check out a film that you missed at the theaters or watch one that pairs with a book the kids are reading at school (see our 100+ Books made into Movies list for ideas!). And don't forget the popcorn -- try a new popcorn recipe the kids can help make!
8. Create something together – try making a family art project! Try this beautiful family handprint plaque from Home.Made.Interest. or this cool tie-dye picnic sheet from Pop Cosmo for family outings. And if your family loves to create, make your own family art wall at home.
9. Gang up on chores – getting things done around the house is always more fun with company. Don’t be afraid to get the kids involved – have a family sock sorting competition, let the kids help with a fix-it project or spend the afternoon raking leaves together. Clean house + time together = happy family!
10. Try something new together - it's great to try something new as a family! You form a type of bond, new stories arise from the experience and because it's a new activity, everyone starts on the same page.
Have you ever ziplined? Is there a local attraction that the family hasn't visited yet? Or maybe a new challenge for everyone -- run a 5K together or get involved with a volunteer project!
Remember, these are the things that make memories
– these are the days when time is precious.
Time with the Kids
And to celebrate all this special time with the kids, we have a super great giveaway for back to school!
JORD Watches, maker of gorgeous hand-crafted wood watches sent us this beautiful timepiece to give to one of our readers. Because they know that as parents, we can never have enough time right?!
What do I love about this watch?
First, it’s made from wood and reminds me of nature. You know how I LOVE nature!
It's super comfortable – you can wear it lose like a bracelet or remove links to wear it more fitted. And it's very lightweight -- barely feels like I'm wearing a watch.
I also love that I can check the time without fishing around in my purse for my damn phone which is always in the bottom and sometimes not charged. :)
And I adore the color – a deep cherry – and the classic look.
We're giving away the Ely watch in Cherry but JORD offers so many more beautiful watches. Be sure to swing by their website to see their full collection of wood watches -- they make wonderful gifts for a birthday or holiday!
Enter below to win this amazing giveaway and get a great start back to school this year!
I want to thank JORD for sending us a watch to giveaway and another for me to wear and preview -- it's been wonderful to always know what time it is without searching for my cell phone in my horribly messy purse!