Finding Creative Ways To Get More Quality Time With Your Kids As A Student-Parent

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As a student and a mother I feel like I am always busy. We have work, school, errands, chores and hobbies, but spending quality time with one another is equally important. It’s one thing to provide the necessities such as food, clothes and shelter, but I also want my daughter to be able to look back on her childhood with fond memories.

It’s really important to take time to spend with your kids, which I know can be difficult with so much going on in life. Now that my daughter is six years old I feel like I have finally learned how to incorporate quality family time into my daily life. Here are six tips I have learned:

1. Do your homework at school: Since my daughter is in grade one she begins school at 9 a.m. If I don’t have a class until noon, that gives me three hours to do school work but staying home in the mornings has proven to become too much of a distraction with so much other stuff to do. That’s why I prefer to get to school early and do my homework at school before class. Sometimes I will do homework in-between classes, or stay a bit late to get projects finished. This way I don’t have to worry about getting homework done at home while my daughter is around, and there are no distractions like dirty dishes, needy children or the TV.

2. Wake up earlier: I’ve always been the kind of person to sleep in as late as possible and then run around quickly getting ready in the mornings. Recently I have found it much more enjoyable to wake up 20 minutes earlier to have a calm morning with my daughter. Sitting down with her to have breakfast has allowed us that much more time to talk and spend time together. I find that our morning talks really get me in a positive mood before school as well.

3. Spend less time cooking: Preparing dinner takes up a huge chunk of my evenings. By preparing a lot of meal items on the weekend I can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with my daughter. I also find it helpful to cook twice as much food, which still takes the same amount of time, and save half or another night. Another trick is to pack lunch bags while cooking dinner since you’re already in the kitchen anyway.

4. Make errands and chores a family affair: Paying bills, cleaning the house, running errands and completing home improvements are never-ending. Why not involve your children as a way to spend time with them, teach them valuable lessons and still get your work done? Children love to feel helpful and can be given simple tasks. This also teaches them responsibility and valuable skills. Not to mention, as they get older they will have the memories of spending time with their parents.

 5. Have a “Friday fun night”: Friday usually signals the end of the week for many people, especially students. Sure we have homework, but we have two free days to work on it. I like to make plans with my family on Fridays, whether it’s to watch a new movie, go out to eat or stay in and play board games. Friday evenings are that one night a week that we can all look forward to.

 6. Unplug: If you’re anything like me the internet and television might take up quite a bit of your free time. By turning off the TV, closing my laptop and turning my phone to silent during those times I want to spend with my daughter, I can give her my full attention and really enjoy our time spent together.

How do you make time for your children when busy with school?