When your weekdays as parents are spent mostly away from your kids, the time spent together must be intentional. Reconnecting with your children is important. But how many times have you asked, “How was your day?” and gotten a one word answer and nothing more? Here are some tips to interact, support, and encourage your children after a long day at school:
Figure out what your child needs when they can finally relax. That could be on the drive home from school, after they come home from daycare and you get off of work, or after sports or music practice. Some kids need peace and quiet and alone time for several minutes. Others might need hugs and undivided attention from a parent. Be intentional about meeting those needs.
Let them lead the conversation.
You might be dying to ask how the big spelling test went or if they got their book report graded. But let your child first tell you what was important to him that day. If he isn’t volunteering any information on his own, ask a few open-ended questions:
- What was the silliest thing that happened today?
- Which games did you play at recess?
- What was the favorite part of your lunch?
- Who did you get out in dodge ball?
Do an activity together.
Reconnecting with your children sometimes best happens without talking. Go for a walk. Cook dinner together. Listen to an audio book. Physical proximity and emotional availability speak louder than words.
Be authentic and consistent.
Parents have hard days just like kids. We can’t always be intentional, physically present, or have the energy and bandwidth to pursue our kids exactly as they need. Just let them know what’s going on, in an age-appropriate way. Communicating to your children is part of reconnecting with your children.
They will understand that Mom is away on a business trip, but she will want to hear all about your week when she gets home. Or we are getting takeout all week instead of cooking together because Dad isn’t feeling well, but Dad is going to miss spending the extra time with you.
Seasons of life ebb and flow, and parents and kids enter new phases at work or in their personal development, but the love and support of a parent never goes away.
If you need a school that encourages parental involvement and connection with their children, contact us at (480) 641-2640 or (602) 274-1910 to get more information about our K-8 nationally awarded charter school of excellence with an advanced learning curriculum. In addition to online learning, we have campuses in Phoenix, Glendale, East Mesa, and Mesa.