Having been a stay at home mom for a blessed two years, I can say that the best time to spend with your young children is all day long. As a working mom, I can offer my opinion that the second best time to spend with them – is prime time.
Does it seem like your kids have an extra dose of energy about an hour after the evening meal? Just when the parents think they are going to relax a little. But this doesn’t quite fit the energy cycle of a young child. Kids want to play games, run around and do creative things. They want to play with mom and dad.
Even with multiple children in the house, the parent is often the one who bridges the age and learning gaps. In game playing they are everything from a participant, team-mate and referee.
We all have limited time in a day. But giving your kids at least one great hour of active play, is the best thing we can do to bond with them. It may not seem like a lot with sleep constraints, but you can usually still have “me” time from about 9pm to 7am. It is a good goal to carve out a solid hour for play before you are too tired to think. If there is family entertainment that you like to watch together, I recommend watching a recording of it right after dinner. Then, in the normal ‘prime time’, it is time to play.
There are tons of things that children enjoy – such as painting, drawing, games, legos, dolls, dress-up, music, plays, and helping mom or dad on projects like baking or working in the garage.
There will be times when one parent or the other misses this important time of day. Sometimes one parent will be working an extra job or have a side business, be taking college classes while working to better job prospects, have military duties, or be working on a special project for the home or community. But the other parent can often make the difference during these times.
When prime time rolls around, it is a great time to transform into a game-playing, fort-making, play-acting, art-practicing, story-reading, horse-playing, and FUN parent. Your kids will dream of kings and queens, grand adventures and superheroes – all inspired by you!