If your family is anything like mine, it is a challenge to spend quality time together.
Life is busy, sometimes hectic. School is in full swing, sports schedules are intense, work is demanding, kids always need something and family life can be a whirlwind.
Quality time is an important ingredient for a healthy family. It is also an opportunity that can be missed, because time slips away when life is busy. Before you know it your kids will be grown up.
Here are some ideas to help you squeeze some quality time into your family life.
1. Make it a date. Schedule time and stick to the plan. Sometimes it is fun to split up the kids and have one-on-one time with your child. Often family time only happens when it is planned.
2. Before bed chats. The day is over and everyone is winding down. This can be a good time to talk or do something quiet together.
3. Family meal time. This one is amazingly simple, but often hard to pull off. During a family meal there is nothing to do, except eat, stare at each other and talk. As long as all the electronics are turned off it can be a perfect opportunity for quality time.
4. Family game night. I know there are families out there that still do this. Put down the iPad and tell your son to put away his iPod touch. 🙂 Play some board games, card games or other interactive activities (remember charades).
5. Play video games. Sometimes you just have to enter your son’s world to get time with him. Consider joining him in his favorite activity. Play video games, film him skateboarding or try building a Lego spaceship.
6. Car ride talks. Take advantage of time spent in the car. Not for interrogation, but for quality conversation. Get curious about your son, ask questions and have fun.
7. Have a yes day. Take a day (or part of a day) and commit to saying yes to your kids as much as possible. Do the things they choose, within reason of course. Kids can be spontaneous and fun. Follow their lead.
8. Ask your kids for ideas. Sometimes our ideas of quality time do not line up with what our kids enjoy. Think of it as the light version of a “yes day.” Ask them what they would like to do for a family together time.
9. Take a vacation. It may be a serious challenge for you to focus on family time with the demands of work. It can be easy to forget about taking family vacations, whether it is financial concerns or the difficulty of taking time off. The idea of a staycation seems very attractive to me. When is your next planned vacation?
10. Watch less TV. It is amazing to me how much time I have when I just choose to watch less TV. As individuals and as families, we make time for the things that are important to us. If family time is important to you, consider cutting out some time spent on other activities. TV is just one example.