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Doing nothing with your children may be the most valuable pastime

When setting up your parenting plan, you may start mentally planning for all of the things you want to do with your kids. You want to make sure every second you spend with them is productive and fun.

Your intentions are good, but parenting experts warn against planning too much and trying to "do it all." They say some of your most important time together may just be the time that you're doing nothing at all.

There are a few reasons, one of which is the message it sends to the kids. If every moment together is just rushing to soccer practice or trying to help the child excel at something, it shows the child that his or her worth -- to you -- is grounded in those things. The child only feels valuable after succeeding or winning. Spending time doing nothing at home -- playing with toys, watching movies together or reading books -- says to the child that you simply like being with him or her. You love the child regardless of all else. That can be a huge confidence builder.

Another reason is that kids crave this family time. One mother said she was so busy running the kids from one activity to the next that they never ate dinner together. They just ate fast food in the car. She asked her kids what they wanted in life, and they all said they missed family time. She stopped the activities and focused on eating dinner together, at home, whenever possible.

As you decide how to spend your parenting time, make sure you consider what is really best for the kids. At the same time, be sure you understand your legal rights and how this plan helps define them.

Source: Napa Valley Register, "Doing 'nothing' might be a valuable something," Samantha Critchell, accessed March 23, 2018

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