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Quality Time Is Becoming Endangered

by Joe Lawrence | November 15th, 2010 | Infants/Toddlers
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As I walked out the door for work, my daughter was waving to me. The last thing I wanted to do was climb into the car for a 14-hour shift. Then on the radio, “Cats in the Cradle” was playing, “When you coming home, dad?” ”I don’t know when, but you know we’ll have a good time then.” Not really, but it would have been poetic because I was feeling very guilty about not spending time with my little princess.
The truth is, I would’ve given anything to be able to call off at that moment and spend the rest of the night with her. I know most parents would; however, we can’t. What we can do is to make the most of the time we do have. There are a few ways I have learned to do this.
For starters, to maximize the time I have with her, I try to get everything done while she is sleeping. That means during nap time, I am getting all the little chores done. While she is slumbering, I often stay up late to get the big stuff completed. It is not fun to spend every spare second cleaning or fixing stuff, but the moments with her make up for all of it.
Next, when I am with her, I unplug as much as possible. I hate answering my phone or doing other such things, which take my attention away. People are likely to get my voicemail if I am playing with her. Also, I know the television mesmerizes me, and I strive to ensure it remains in the off position.
Finally, instead of doing the things or playing the games I want to play, I take my cues from her. Maybe I am in the mood to read her a book, but she wants to stack some blocks. Since it is her play time, it is time to rock the blocks.
Getting chores done while she is sleeping, unplugging from electronics and playing her games have helped me to maximize our time. ”Cats in the Cradle” won’t be on my playlist!
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