We all agree it’s a busy world.  There are homes to run, jobs to go to, money to earn and commitments to fulfill.  Still, children are precious and we only have a limited amount of time to spend with them before they grow up and before you can blink, they’re leaving home!  Bonding is a vital part of child-rearing, and not just for the youngster, but for the parents too.  Rather than feel bothered by your sons’ or daughters’ constant demands, realize that you really can put down what you’re doing and spend a few wonderful minutes paying undivided attention to your little loved ones.

1. Waking up in the morning
First thing in the morning, when the atmosphere is still a little dark and the air is cool can be a beautiful time with your children.  If it means you have to set the alarm clock for just fifteen minutes earlier to do this, then those are fifteen minutes of glorious time with your babies.  Sit at the edge of your child’s bed and rub his back while awakening him, or stroke his hair while you whisper to wake up.  Enjoy a cuddle and a smile and ask what he will be doing today.  A tickle and a giggle is a wonderfully happy start to a brand new day and it sets everyone in the best mood possible.  No one likes to spend the morning with a cranky person and it’s easy to ensure a happy state of mind with the right approach.

2. Sit down to breakfast together
It can be tempting to rush around packing lunches while yelling at everyone to finish their breakfast, all the while being drowned out by the blaring noise of the morning cartoons.  Enjoy a far more peaceful meal time by all sitting together, even if just for ten minutes, and eating breakfast together.  Cereal and juice, toast with honey or a full-on cooked affair including bacon and eggs all taste better when Mom or Dad sits and talks.  Again, it might mean getting up just a few minutes earlier but it’s an investment in everyone’s happier day.  Food is better digested when we are relaxed and happy too.

3. Grooming
Little girls often need pigtails and boys certainly do need their hair combed from time to time!  Teeth need to be brushed and hands washed.  Send your child off to play or to school looking their best and while you’re helping them with their hair or teeth, tell them how pretty or handsome they look and perhaps tell a story about your own school days.  Children love to know that their parents were once the same age and they enjoy getting to hear that school was much the same for them many years ago.

4. Driving in the car
This too is time that could be wasted, stressed over … or spent wisely, getting to know your children better and turned into bonding time.  Rather than engaging in road rage scenarios, put some pleasant music on and encourage a sing-along in the car.  Or, teach the kids how to do ‘car-robics’, little in-your-seat exercises that elicit giggles and create a diversion from the boredom of the commute.  Once they reach school they’ll be happier for the trip and ready to tackle a busy day at school.

5. Homework time
It can be drudgery filled with anxiety and nagging or it can be a time when you get to delight in what your child has been learning at school.  Doubtless, your child will love it if you take an interest in what he has been up to in the classroom.  Help him color, praise his handwriting, give him a pat on the back for keeping his grades up; anything that will create an opportunity for you to show him how proud you are of him.  Working on a class project at home can be fun and educational, for you too!