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Video:Maximize Evening Quality Time

with Kathy Moore

Parenting can be busy, and sometimes stressful, but kids deserve quality time every day. Check out these tips for creating some quality time in your evening family routine.See Transcript

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Transcript:Maximize Evening Quality Time

Hi, I am Kathy Moore for About.com Parenting. After a busy day, providing the proper attention to your kids can be tiresome. This program will offer tips for creating some quality time in your evening routine.

Set Aside Uninterrupted Family Time

Even if you are worn out from your day, make it a point to spend some uninterrupted time with your kids as soon as you get home. As little as 10 minutes can make a world of difference. And trust me, dinner can wait.

Let Kids Choose the Activity

Let the kids choose the activity, preferably one that involves being physically close. Play a game, read a book, or color. Kids reconnect best as they did when they were babies, by being held close.

If the weather is nice, get outside. Play a quick game of tag, hopscotch, or even swing. They will be eager to play.

Involve Kids in Your Tasks

Keep your children involved in the tasks that you do need to accomplish before they go to bed, like making dinner. Kids love to stir and pour. They can help you set the dinner table.

They want to be involved with you, and though their assistance may not seem like help, it is nourishing their bond with you.

Talk During Dinner

When you are eating dinner, turn off other distractions like the TV or radio, and encourage everyone to participate in a mealtime discussion.

Ask each child what his favorite part of the day was, or if anything unusual happened. Be sure every child, regardless of age, has an opportunity to speak.

Help Out With Kids' Homework

After dinner, again have the kids help clear the table, even if this only means moving dishes to a counter or the sink. Dishes, like laundry, can wait.

Once the table is cleared, this is a good time to see if any older children need help with homework, while the younger children play, read or draw. It is important that they see you showing interest in what is important to them.

Turn Off the TV

Try to avoid watching TV before and after dinner, since that does not allow for much talking and interaction. And, it is an easy trap that can form into a habit.

Play music, dance, or get the kids moving outside. The more actively engaged the children are, the better they will sleep and the healthier your whole family will be.

Spend Quality Time Before Bedtime

Children appreciate attention at any time of day, but especially need it before bed. Your quality time reassures them of their safety and security and sets the stage for a good night's sleep.

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