Do you ever find it hard to set aside time to focus on your kids? Can’t remember the last time you just sat and talked or played? I think that time management is difficult for all modern parents. It is a tremendous challenge to balance all of the responsibilities of life and still make time to give your children your undivided attention. Life is busy, even hectic sometimes.
Even though we may value family time it can easily be one of the first sacrifices we make. It takes intention and even planning to make sure we don’t neglect quality time with our kids. I was thinking about this over the weekend and I wanted to share a few ideas that I came up with, some of which I am practicing this week.
1. Technology ban
Put down the iPhone, close the laptop and have your kids take a day off from the video games. This could apply to parents, children or both depending on who is more attached to their personal electronics. The technology that invades our lives allows us amazing abilities to connect with people all over the world and simultaneously ignore the people under our own roof. Imagine some of the things you could do together. Play a game, go on a walk or bake some cookies.
2. Turn off the TV
Now of course this could go along with a technology ban, but I think it deserves its own point. Television is one of our favorite distractions and an easy way to avoid interacting with each other. Try turning it off for a night or two and see what fun things you can dream up to do together.
3. Schedule family time
Sometimes with a families busy life certain things only happen if they are scheduled, such as dentist appointments or other important events. It may help to plan ahead for family time. This could be as simple as planning to have sit down dinners with the whole family or scheduling a special “date” with your son or daughter.
4. Change your normal routine
Do something different. If you normally stay inside, take a walk with the family. If you are used to always being out and about, enjoy some down time at home. Do something spontaneous like spending a whole day in pajamas or going to a movie on a school night.
Take a moment, empty your mind of thoughts about work and to-do lists and reconnect with your kids. I am sure that our kids will remember times of connection and shared moments more than anything else we can give them.
O. A. Battista said, “The best inheritance a parent can give his children is a few minutes of his time each day.”