Answer by Thomas Zerbarini:
I find the best way is make the time to spend and combine what you have to do and do it with them.After work I would have the following activities to get done:
- Make dinner
- Check Homework
- Play outside with kids for at least 30 minutes
- clean up after dinner
- Baths and showers
- Story-time/BedtimeI find it best to do all this with my kids and talk with them about their day, teach them how to cook, do laundry, etc… making getting things done fun and enjoyable.This is how it would go for me:
- I would first start one pile of laundry with the kids having them get their laundry basket items either colors or whites. I would have them load and add soap.
- We would talk about their homework and if it was light we would review it and then get started on dinner. If they had a lot of homework, I would have them do/discuss what they did with me while I made dinner.
- Once dinner was started I would play in the yard on bikes and scooters, walk the trails for at least 30 minutes either before or after dinner. depending on how long dinner would cook.
- After dinner, play and homework we would clean up, move the laundry over to the dryer and everyone would get into baths and/or showers.
- We may watch a short bit of TV, not usually, if there was extra time. Otherwise, we would head to bed for story-time or book time.As you may well know, there is not a lot of time after work so you have to make the best of it. the important thing was just spending time together and trying to make it all fun. You'll notice there wasn't time or any allowance for computers, games or other electronics unless for school work. Those things are distractions to family time and have a place on the weekends or other times when we are not compressed around dinner time.I hope that helps out. One of the big things that made this successful was pre-planning meals with the kids what they wanted to make or learn how to make. It made for some interesting dishes.Thomas Zerbarini