How to Spend Time With Your Kids When You Have No Time



In Australia many working parents rely on before and after school care facilities to help supervise their children while they go off to work. Before care starts at about 7.30 am and after school care finishes as late as 6pm – quite a long day!

It must be hard for parents who have worked slavishly for the entire day to afford the time and energy to spend ‘quality time’ with their children (taking into account preparing dinner, washing up, bathing the kids and helping with homework).

Here are 4 suggestions courtesy of Erin Kurt:

1. One-on-one time: Alone time with your child is best when you are doing something you both enjoy. With one family it may be the time when Dad takes the baby so Mom can spend time with the older child. This could mean going to a movie, going to the local theater to see Cinderella, or just sitting at the park on a bench and talking. The frequency of one-on-one time is up to you, but the children I interviewed said at least once a month is the minimum. If you are a single mother with more than one child you could arrange it so that each Saturday you spend quality time with one of your children and the last Saturday of the month you spend quality time as a family.

Marking your dates down on a calendar is a great idea and shows your children you make this time a priority.

2. Integrate Together Time into Your Daily Schedule: Children love to help. Do you have a mailing to do? Have them put the stamps on the envelopes. Need to go shopping? Make grocery shopping “fun time” with you. Need to make dinner? Let them help you by contributing to the preparation process. While it might be messier and it may time more time in the beginning, you will see that the children will become your greatest helpers and they will look back and remember that “before dinner” was always special time with you.

3. Phantom Time: Don’t have a moment to spare until about 3 a.m.? You can still let your children know that you care. Write notes and drop them into their lunch boxes. This was one of the top ten things children told me made them feel loved and cared for by their parent. Other ideas would be to record a short video for them using a camera and leaving it for them at the breakfast table. Be creative here!

4. Break time: Everyone is busy. Some parents are busier than others. Slide in a “break time” so that you and your children can spend 15 minutes or a half hour together. Set a timer if you need to so that everyone knows when “break time” starts and finishes. Give warnings to your children when 2 minutes are left so that it doesn’t come as a surprise. Don’t even have break time available? Wake your child up 15 minutes early so that you can spend a little extra time doing something fun in the morning. You might not think that 15 minutes is any significant time at all, but to a child, it is 15 extra minutes with you.

Spending time with your children provides them with opportunities to learn and to be heard. Most of all, it provides you and your children with time to connect. It’s these connections that make your children feel loved. So leave the beds unstripped for another few minutes and put the coffee on an automatic timer. Take those extra moments to spend with your children. When you look back, you will be thankful for the memories.


To be honest I find the 4th suggestion a bit depressing. Setting a timer so that your child knows when their time with you is up sounds very wrong.


Click on the link to read The Meaning of Being a Father (Video)

Click on the link to read 24 Signs You Are a Mother

Click on the link to read A Father’s Priceless Reaction to his Son’s Report Card (Video)

Click on the link to read A New Way to Get Kids to Brush Their Teeth

Click on the link to read Tips to Help Parents Control Their Kids’ TV Habits

Click on the link to read 10 Steps Parents Can Take if their Child is Being Bullied

Click on the link to read School Holidays are Very Hard for Many Parents (Video)


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2 Responses to “How to Spend Time With Your Kids When You Have No Time”

  1. Sue Says:

    Hi, It is so frustrating trying to be all things to everyone – earning a living, looking after a home and being a great parent!

    The things my child’s school sends home for me to complete is like a part time job in itself.

    In our family we try to have at least one parent spending time at breakfast time, whilst the other will spend at little time later on in the evening – it doesn’t always work well but somehow we manage it. We are lucky in the fact that I can work from home for 40% of the week, but even that becomes as issue as you are never away from the job – so you are permanently switching roles from worker to mother and so forth.

    We do try and keep the weekend free for family time.

    Thanks for the helpful tip. Sue –

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