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In a recent survey it found that parents spend 49 minutes a day with their children. See BBC link here

This number dramatically reduces the moment you get divorced. As a dad I only see my daughter every other weekend (Fri to Monday morning) and every Wednesday evening – Thursday morning.

When I first got divorced it was a real challenge to NOT see my daughter everyday. But actually it was a real wake up call as when I was living wither her full-time I never really appreciated the relationship. I loved her but never focused on quality time. Since moving out and then becoming a step dad I now see real value in spending QUALITY time with her.

There are so many things that stop you spending time with your kids. As the article suggests, things like money & time really get in the way. But do they have to?

During the time you are not with your kids today, notice how much of that you COULD be with your kids? Cooking, cleaning, tidying, watching TV (could you watch their TV instead of yours), gardening, washing the car, shopping and so many more.

Of course all these tasks seem like chores to kids, so you have to give them tasks to carry out so they feel like THEY want to do them. But often they’ll do it if they know they’ll get to spend time with you. They’ll also be learning some of life’s essential skills, as well as not treating the home like a hotel. Just don’t start them off on a task and then walk away and leave them too it.

Yesterday my step son (10) spent 2 hours in the kitchen cooking dinner ala ‘come dine with me’ style. He cooked  mushroom & cheese starter, fish and potato fry and a chocolate pudding. All cooked from raw ingredients.

My wife was supervising from a distance and just about EVERY pot and pan was used in what resembled a science lesson as much as it was cooking. BUT and this is the important bit, he took great value in his work and had great pride too. We didn’t score it like they do in the TV prog but it was a massive effort which was duly rewarded.

You may have less time than ever to be there for your kids but if you don’t invest quality time with them NOW you’ll be investing quantity of time in them later when they fail to have the life skills and right attitude for success in today’s society.

Oh and as a footnote, my stepson not only cooked, he also washed up. It’s an important part of cooking even if it is a little less glamorous. Tonight it is the turn of my step daughter to cook. I may seek out the paper plates to cut down on the washing up 🙂

Come dine with me