Time with our kids is not a passénotion in the 21st century. In fact,research shows it might be one ofthe most powerful factors in creatingsocially and emotionally healthyadults.
When you spend time with yourchildren they learn they matter, and itbuilds their trust in you, says Tanice
Time: the best
investment in your
Minutes, hours and days add up to a powerful factor in raising kids
Jones, coordinator of the Parent LinkCentre in Grande Prairie. Jones callstime a “protective factor” againstdetachment problems and anti-socialbehaviours as a child grows.
First results from the Early Child
Development Mapping Project Alberta,
a peek into how ready our children
are for school, are cause for concern,
The “why” is still being examined,
but Jones thinks it is likely to include
overwhelmed and overscheduled lives,
too much computer and toy time and
not enough one-on-one time between
parents and children.
“It’s about balance,” Jones says.“Don’t feel pressure about (creating)‘teachable’ moments. Take the moment;it will be teachable.” When your childneeds you, press the pause button andpay attention.
Patrick Dillon, provincialcoordinator for the Alberta FatherInvolvement Initiative ( abdads.ca),admits it is a challenge for parents tofind time because in many familiesboth parents work. But kids arelooking for a sense of belonging and ifthey don’t find it with family, they mayfind it elsewhere. When parents areinvolved with their children, childrenand youth are less likely to be involvedin gangs or unhealthy relationships.
To find more time with your kids,you can:
• Separate work time from family
• Learn to say “no” to work,
volunteering and activities that
take you away from your family
• Find things you can do with your
kids such as walking, hiking,
camping, swimming, reading,
playing or listening to music,
skating and family games night
• Try to arrange flexible work hours;
let your employer and co-workers
know you value time with your
— Colleen Biondi
For more information on the valueof time with your children, visit:healthyparentshealthychildren.ca,abdads.ca or MyHealth.Alberta.ca
When you spend time with your children they learn they matter, and it builds their trust in you.