How as little as 20 minutes a day can change your whole year!

Quality-time tips for toddlers to teens

mother daughter quality time

It’s not the next fad diet. It’s not a promise to yourself to stop running to Starbucks twice a day. It’s Mind, Body, & Soul Time, and it’s a New Year’s resolution for your whole family.

Mind, Body, & Soul Time is time spent one-on-one with each of your children, consistently and individually with each parent, on an activity they choose. Not only will it give you a better bond with your kids, but the attention and power boosts will fuel better behavior.

Whether Mind, Body, & Soul Time is new to your family, or you’ve tried it before and let it slide after work and school got hectic, start fresh and make it a simple part of your routine. Aim for ten minutes, twice a day with each child to keep their attention baskets filled regularly–but any amount will help. Turn off the technology, and let your child call the shots:

  • Grow with your toddlers by letting them choose the activities they like best, whether it be make “dinner” out of Play-Doh or dressing Dad up like a princess. Remember that younger children’s attention baskets may need refilled more often, so do your best to make Mind, Body, & Soul Time happen twice daily instead of all at once.
  • While taking time to help our kids with their math homework has its many benefits, try to include something more fun than fractions for your elementary-aged child. You child may enjoy reading a favorite story–complete with voices–or to let you help create a Lego masterpiece. From baking cookies to playing catch, this is a perfect time to start learning about each other, so be sure to share your own thoughts and feelings during your conversations.
  • Tweens and teens are biologically inclined to pursue independence from their parents, so this is a great opportunity to stay in touch as you help them navigate their adolescence. They might enjoy creating new playlists on iTunes, playing cards or even taking a trip to the mall together. Even finding a quiet place for an informal chat can go a long way towards strengthening the mind, body, and soul of your teen.

Wrap up your Mind, Body, & Soul Time–and “get credit”–by letting your child know you enjoyed spending time with them.

By following these tips to make Mind, Body, & Soul Time your family’s New Year’s resolution, you’re sure to build strong relationships that are guaranteed to take you well through the current year and beyond. Even if your family is slow to start, hang in there. It won’t be long and you’ll be wondering how you ever lived without this time together!

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About the Author

Amy McCready
Nationally recognized parenting expert Amy McCready is the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and the best selling author of The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic - A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World and If I Have to Tell You One More Time…The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling. As a “recovering yeller” and a Certified Positive Discipline Instructor, Amy is a champion of positive parenting techniques for happier families and well-behaved kids. Amy is a TODAY Show contributor and has been featured on CBS This Morning, CNN, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, Rachael Ray, Steve Harvey & others. In her most important role, she is the proud mom of two amazing young men.