Some experts say children need at least 15 minutes of our undivided attention per day. It doesn’t sound a lot but there’s that word undivided.
When was the last time we sat down and actually concentrated for 15 minutes on doing something with our kids, without a mental checklist running in the back of our minds at the same time?
You read the bedtime story out loud but when its finished realise you’ve got no idea what it was about because all the time you’ve been planning dinner, thinking up an outfit for school dress up day and listing key points to raise at tomorrow’s 9am meeting.
We’re busy trying to balance a million commitments to family, work, household and get through the daunting list of things that need to be done each day without losing our marbles.
These days there is huge pressure on parents to entertain their children in ever more complicated and costly ways. Often we overcompensate for lack of time by trying to make whatever we are doing perfect, from the Pinterest-worthy kids party to the ‘bake off’ standard cake making session, putting even more pressure on ourselves, especially when it doesn’t quite go to plan.
This added to the fact that we know how important activities like making and crafting are for our children’s development but find it hard to weave them into a day where we’ve fought fifteen different battles even before breakfast mean we can sometimes feel we are falling short of the mark.
But perhaps we just need to cut ourselves some slack and recognise that spending quality time with the kids doesn’t need to be complicated or involve more pre-planning than a military campaign and it can also to turn out be time that we enjoy too.
Focusing on a simple craft activity is a great way for a child to unwind and have some quiet time, especially near to bedtime and children will often open up to us about their day or their worries while their hands are busy making something.
It can also be a great way of de-cluttering our own minds and creating a relaxed environment where we can unravel from the stresses of the day and be mindful.
The activity doesn’t need to take a long time or be expensive, it just needs to be absorbing and engaging. So try something simple and crafty with the kids today, you might be pleasantly surprised.