If you’re going through a divorce, you are far from alone in it: 39% of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. However, it is still a challenging time for you and your family as you navigate your new life together. It’s important to make sure that you are setting aside time to spend with your kids where you can be dedicated to being together. Quality time is key to ensuring that you have a good relationship with your kids during the divorce process, and below are some ideas of how to spend that quality time together.
Do an Outdoor Activity Together
If your family loves doing outdoor activities together, you should make sure that you’re making time for whatever it is that you enjoy doing. If you have time, going on a camping trip is a great way to fit in all of your favorite activities and bond with your children. If your kids were part of the 11.6 million youth participants in fishing, you can also do a fishing day trip where you pack up all of your fishing supplies and go out to your favorite spot for the day. There’s a lot of downtimes when you’re fishing, so you can chat with your kids and bond.
Help Them Train For Their Sport
If your kids are in a sport, like baseball, soccer, or basketball, you can help them do some drills or otherwise practice. For example, if they’re a baseball player, you can toss them balls to help them practice their batting, play catch, or practice sprints for base running. Make sure to take into account the temperature outside because shaved wooden bats aren’t meant to be used if it’s below 65 degrees. If they’re in a non-team sport, like swimming or cross country, you can help them with drills or strength training. Ask how you can help them to improve in their sport.
Play a Game
If there’s enough of you, playing a board game can be a great way to spend some quality time together. There are board games that are fitting for kids of any age, so you can choose to play any that are fitting for your kids. You don’t have to let your kids win, but make sure you’re playing closer to their level if they’re on the younger side.
If your child or children are more interested in video games, you can also try out playing video games together. Even if you’re not particularly good at video games, you can have your child teach you. Giving them the opportunity to explain things to you may even help them develop better communication skills, and if you’re still lost, you can always turn to Google for a little bit more help.
Make Chores Fun
Chores don’t have to be a dreaded thing if you make an effort to make them fun. Make a playlist full of music that your whole family loves and be open to taking suggestions from your kids to make sure that everyone gets a say. This can help make chore time into a time to dance, sing loudly, and laugh instead of just a time when you all are cleaning things up.
Do a Craft
Crafts are a great way to spend time together and get some fun creations out of the process as well. There are tons of tutorials online for every age, skill, and ease level imaginable, so you should be able to find something that’s good for you and your kids to try. If your kids are a little older, you can even make some DIYs for home decor or for their rooms specifically. You can learn a lot about your kids’ interests when you’re creating something new with them, which is why crafting is such a great way to enjoy quality time with your kids.
Cooking is something that you have to do anyway for your family, and turning cooking time into quality time is not very difficult. Your kids will be able to help by doing smaller tasks while you cook, like peeling potatoes or chopping up vegetables. Make sure that you’re fully supervising whatever they’re doing, especially if they’re using any sharp instruments or are near something hot like a pan or the oven.
If your kids aren’t old enough to actually help you in the kitchen, you can set up a small play area near where you cook with their own “kitchen” set up so they still feel included in the cooking process. Once they get older, it won’t be hard to transition them into helping more and more.
Rose, Bud, Thorn
Rose, bud, thorn is a great way to get to know how your kids’ day went without getting a vague “it was fine.” Asking everyone to say their rose, bud, and thorn during dinner can start a conversation that will help you know what’s actually going on in your kids’ lives. A “rose” is something good that happened during the day, like getting a good grade or seeing a friend, a “bud” is something that you are excited for, like a big sports game or an upcoming concert, and a “thorn” is something bad or otherwise not happy that happened during the day. By covering all the bases with rose, bud, thorn, you’ll be able to get a better idea of what is going on in your kids’ lives without having to pry.
Build a Pillow Fort
Building a pillow fort in your living room is a great way to make some amazing memories as a family. You can use pillows, blankets, couch cushions, string lights, and anything else comfy and fun to make your fort. If you can build it around a TV, you can have a movie marathon in the fort together, but if that’s not possible, you can always use a laptop or even a phone to watch movies in the fort.
Divorce can be hard on kids, and that’s why it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re spending quality time with your kids during the process. Although it may seem small at the time, you’re bonding with your kids and making it easier for them to come to you if there’s anything they’re upset about.