(WSVN) — As we look ahead to 2015, it’s the one thing more families say they want to do, spend more quality time together. So, how do we make that happen 7’s Lynn Martinez gets some expert advice in today’s Parent to Parent.
Roberta Silva is a busy parent of two young children who’s trying her best to balance work and family time.
Roberta Silva: “As a working mom, it’s really, really hard to juggle both.”
Like many families, her goal for the new year is to spend more time together.
Roberta Silva: “If we don’t do it, it’s really just going to be eat, take a bath and go to bed.”
Gladys Montes, an education expert with the United Way, says parents really need to focus on making time to be with their kids.
Gladys Montes: “It’s so important for families to think about the time that they spend with each other and how do you plan very intentionally for those moments.”
She says the first step is planning little dates.
Gladys Montes: “They don’t have to be extensive, they don’t have to be the whole day, think of 20 minutes that you’re going to spend with your child.”
Roberta has Madison help her in the kitchen. The toddler loves taking part in preparing meals.
Roberta Silva: “It’s really great to see how she connects that, it’s really something that needs to happen anyway and we make it a fun activity.”
Gladys says another great activity parents can do with their kids is read together.
Gladys Montes: “How about get one or two of those books and bring them out and you don’t have to read the full book in one day.”
Roberta loves to include both kids at reading time.
Roberta Silva: “So, we’ve incorporated reading into our night-time routine.”
Gladys also says take advantage of teachable moments. For example, mom rewards Madison with change she saves in a piggy bank.
Roberta Silva: “I always ask her to count the coins that she’s putting in, so we’re getting a little bit of math there.”
Gladys says whatever activities you choose to do with your child, make sure you are fully focused on them.
Gladys Montes: “Make it simple, be present, understand that this time is between you and your child.”
Lynn Martinez: She says try not to have any interruptions during family time turn those cell phones off at least for a bit.