Breanne and her familyI have a love-hate relationship with back to school. While I’m ready to get back into a routine, and excited about the new things the kids will learn, I hate that it also means less quality time with my kids. Back to school for most of us means more than just academics; it’s back to sports, back to dance, back to real life. This can mean long days for our kids, and the majority of those days are spent with other people. Instead of leaving it up to chance, I decided to think of a few ways
I can continue to build relationships with my kids.

Spend one-on-one time together. We have all heard this before, but every time I spend one-on-one time with my kids, I wonder why I don’t do it more often. Plan a set time and let your child know it’s important to you and that you are looking forward to it. Grab dinner or a treat and go on a walk. Let them do the talking. Don’t let this be a time where you are in full parent mode. Listen to them, be there for them and enjoy their company.

Read a book together. If your kids are younger, you can read a chapter book aloud. If they are older, you can read the same book. Find out what the required reading is for school and read that together. You can also let them pick the book. It can be fun to see what your child is interested in reading. This will not only give you new things to talk about, but it will show your child you are invested in them.

Send them a note. While any kind of note will do, the most important thing to do is make each child a personal and specific note. Let them know that you noticed the kind act they did for their sibling, or that you are proud of the effort they put into a homework assignment. Leave the note in their room or sneak it in their backpack or a book. These little reminders of our love may be just what they need during the day.

Hopefully, with these ideas, we can make more time to spend with our kids and build our relationships with them.