quality time with your kids this summer, mom and dad with their daughter in a pool, aqua background with mom and dad with a hand out to the camera celebrating summer with daughter between them in a multi-colored inflatable tube

Quality time with your kids this summer won’t happen without planning. That’s just as true if not more so in the summertime. Your routines change and it’s easy to fall into your new summer schedule. This can cause you to take those out-of-school months for granted, forgetting they’re only for a limited time.

What you and your child need are bonding moments unique to the extra time summer allows. Just how can you be more intentional this year? Here are a few ideas.

Take a Breather for Quality Time with Your Kids this Summer

The pressures to provide for your family can be immense. You may feel the need to make every dollar you possibly can. While no one would argue against the importance of doing that, there’s a certain point where all that striving becomes counter-productive.

You’re not a robot, you’re a person. You get tired and you need a break from work from time to time. Summer is the perfect opportunity to “give it a rest” even if you worry that you can’t afford the extra time off. You may just find your work productivity soars after coming back from a break if you just give it a try.

Also, remember that the time you spend with your child isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity. You need it and your developing child does, too. These vital relationships are more important than work. You could lose your job tomorrow but your job as a parent will go on for the duration of your life.

In light of that, it only makes sense to set aside time for those relationships that matter most. It could easily be argued that a busy schedule is the greatest roadblock most families experience along the path to spending quality time with their kids over the summer. Clear up your schedule and you’ll have won more than half the battle.

Money Spent Doesn’t Always Mean Quality Time Spent with Your Child

Spending oodles of money doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve successfully bonded with your child. As nice as big vacations and pricey excursions are, they make a lousy love substitute.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with those things—just be sure that you don’t mistake checking these big events off your to-do list for truly bonding with your child. More is required to interact on a meaningful level than going to events or doing activities together. You need to be present in the moment to have quality time with your kids this summer.

Be Present in the Moment with Your Child this Summer

Picture yourself at the end of your life looking back at the time you now have with your child. If you were able to go back to where you are now in life, what would you do differently to bond better with your child?

Maybe that would mean putting away your cell phone, walking away from social media or not letting yourself get so bent out of shape by the stressors of life. You’d also likely have the goal to make better eye contact with your child, have fun, laugh more often and listen non-judgmentally to their concerns.

Instead of rushing your child through the schedule so you can spend a few minutes with him before bed, use every interaction all day long as an opportunity to connect,” says Laura Markham, Ph.D. in her Psychology Today article entitled, “10 Habits to Strengthen a Parent-Child Relationship.”

Need Some Help to Bond Better with Your Child This Summer?

Life isn’t always easy and parent/child relationships can become strained. Sometimes, the best way to overcome these challenges is by speaking with a trusted professional who can help you to problem solve.

If you could use some additional professional support, Valencia Relationship Center is here for you. We provide talk therapy for Valencia, CA residents and for the surrounding regions. It only takes a moment to schedule an appointment with us. We offer parent and child counseling, parent and teen counseling and much more.