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The other day I was flipping through some photo albums and I realized that years are streaking past at warp speed. My five month old son became five years old and in the blink of an eye, he is now ten years old. This is the unstoppable march of time that turns babies into big kids.

Every day brings new evolution and new milestones, but we hardly get enough time to appreciate the delicate shades of childhood. We are constantly running to balance the challenges of the adult life. We have heard so many types of mothers – the attached mom, the hyper mom and even tiger moms. We all fall in either one category or are a mixture of all. However, in my ten years of parenting I have realized and learned one single truth that applies to any parent – your children need to spend meaningful time with you.

But the question is ‘Where do you get involved’? School, homework, car pools, after school activities that you have to take care of in addition to your job and other responsibilities of adulthood are an intrinsic part of being a parent. At the end of the day, you feel so exhausted that even watching the 10 o’clock news is a task. In all of this, where do we find that little quality time to offer to our kids? I always wondered how we can manage; then realized that it was not rocket science, it just needed a bit of planning, prioritizing and of course a certain level of commitment.

What can be done is simple things – at night take walks in the neighbourhood. Try something different for dinner like ‘Pizza Night’. Just imagine if the dinner has a theme and your kids turned into junior MasterChef, cleaning the veggies or grating the cheese. Announce that it’s ‘Pizza night’ tonight, and believe you me they will look forward to it the whole day. The dinner night would be unforgettable and your kids would be happy to share their updates with you.

Playing their favourite games is super fun. Peek a boo or hide and seek, table tennis, bowling and yes not to forget PSP, PS3 or PS4, Barbies, setting up those kitchen toys to cook for daddy, watching movies, Shopkins – the list is endless!

It’s exciting to be a kid again with them isn’t it?

The idea is to create a sort of ‘tradition’ which happens ONLY in your family. Your children don’t remember all the topics you discussed with them over a period of time or the jokes you cracked, what they will remember are those “ice-cream sundaes on a summer afternoon and sipping hot chocolate on a winter night”.

It’s no secret that children with parents who are more involved are happier, well-adjusted and excel in their lives. In the course of this crazy life, the clock is ticking fast no matter how much we want time to slow down. Soon the parenthood clock will wind forward, the backseat will be without a baby car seat, the playroom shelves will be dusty and the toys will be neatly stacked, the kids’ room will be clean but empty.

They will leave for their journey of life, and you will have a deep sense of satisfaction that you have given them what they need to be successful and you will feel a deep sense of accomplishment on succeeding as a good parent.

Shazneen says – A daughter, sister, wife and a mother to a 10 year old son Tanush; with all these roles up my sleeve, I read and pursue my writing through my blog ‘Shazneen’s Blog‘. I believe that thoughts are like waves which are difficult to control, hence most of my writings are like the beating of my heart.