Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Resolution: Spend quality time with your child

If your at-risk child has become more of a challenge lately and you are considering ways to improve things for the New Year, make a New Year’s resolution to spend more quality time with your child. Fortunately, there is a great deal of scientific information about just what constitutes quality time. Daily playtime will increase your child's Ability to Love.

Quality time means just spending time playing with your child. During play you should just play, don’t try to instruct or direct. If your child is a challenge, playing with him for 20 minutes a day may really make a difference. It will likely reduce his domineering behavior.

If you are able to commit to 20 minutes a day. Tell your child that you are setting aside 20 minutes just to play with him. Tell him when your playtime will begin and end so he knows what to expect. Playtime should give your child the message that he is very dear to you so don't answer the phone or attend to anything other than your child during his special time.

Playtime should be in addition to other activities you may do together like reading or watching TV. Playtime can be anything the two of you can enjoy together but should not be a competitive game, TV or videogame. Playtime can be indoors or out. Several days a week playtime can be taking a walk together.

During playtime focus on your child. Comment on what you see him doing. For example if he is building a tower with blocks say, “Now I see you are building a tower with blocks.” This commenting lets your child know you are paying attention to what he is doing. Also repeat back some of the things your child says. For example, if he is pretending something echo back his statements.

Use playtime as a chance to build your child up. Tell him you are proud of what he does. If your child becomes aggressive or disruptive during playtime, give him a warning then end the session early if he keeps up. Tell him you want to play with him but can’t if he hits, throws things or otherwise misbehaves.

For more on how to have quality time with your child, see the Child Well-being Workbook. All of us at Parenting the At Risk Child wish you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year, full of love and togetherness!

1 comment:

Spider63 said...

Obese children are becoming a worldwide epidemic! I appreciate your analysis of the reasons that contribute to childhood obesity. For me, it has been a lifelong struggle to overcome that.