We all know the importance of quality family time. It’s not just a cliche. Quality time with your family leads to stronger families, it improves communication and encourages strong parent/child bonds. However, with so many distractions in our lives, it is easy to miss out on these valuable moments. Between extracurricular activities and work, parents may find themselves too busy for regular family time (and this doesn’t even take into account the distractions of society like social media). Let’s discuss ways you can add more family time into your life!
Quality time with the family means strong family bonds
Want to build strong family bonds? Regular family time is the best way to do just that. Families who spend time together feel closer and more connected. When you spend time with your young kids, you are building bonds that will last a lifetime. If you can’t imagine what family time will do for your kids, just think about the next stage in their lives. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that your are building bonds with your pre-teen that will carry your relationship through the tumultuous teenage years?
Family time gives you opportunities to talk to your kids
Families who spend time together communicate better. That time together gives you time to practice talking to each other. You ca talk about your family’s day, activities, issues at school or extracurricular events. Or you can just enjoy some quality family time where everyone is present and no one has a device in front of them!
Regular time together helps instill values and discipline
Learning discipline and values start at an early age. Family time is a great way to easily add them into your everyday life. You can teach kids about the value of hard work, good manners, healthy eating habits and so much more when you spend quality time together. This is a chance to teach kids the things that matter most in life: honesty, gratitude, responsibility etc. When kids are young, you can use this opportunity to set up boundaries that will guide them into adulthood.
Quality family time gives your kids (and you) something to anticipate
Having fun things to look forward to is one of the best things about family time. It gives the whole family something fun to anticipate. You will be surprised at how much your child enjoys spending that quality time with you! For example, take a trip to the zoo or go for an outdoor picnic.
Better parent/child bonds
When you spend time with your kids, they get to know their parents better. You get to know your kids better too! You will learn what they like to do, how they act in public and at home. And when you know your kids better, you will be able to guide them better.
Ways to add more family time to your life
When families are busy, finding ways to make family time is key! Here are some ways you can make family time a priority:
Cash in on meal times
Get rid of your devices during dinner! Eating together is the perfect opportunity to connect without distractions. The kids may be annoyed at first, but they’ll get used to it quickly and this could become one of their favorite parts of the day (and yours too). Can’t get everyone together for dinner? No problem. Spend breakfast together! The time of day matters much less than what you do during the meal. Set down those phones and connect.
Choose a regular family night
Is your family on your schedule? It should be! Choose one day a week to spend together. This is the perfect opportunity for everyone in your family to make plans with you on their calendar! If it’s not already built into your schedule, block off this time and treat it as important. You can even reward yourself if you are able to stick with it.
Be each other’s cheer squad!
Make your family a priority and encourage each other when you need it most. Building that support system among your family members means that every family member feels supported and loved. Encourage your kids to cheer each other on during sports competitions, music recitals and more. Cheer them on and back them up! You will be building a stronger family bond as well as healthier, happier children who feel like they can accomplish anything in life!
Encourage your kids’ interests
Does your child have a hobby that takes up a lot of their time? Encourage it! Tap into what they love and use this as an opportunity to bond with them. Take some trips together or surprise them from time to time with tickets to their favorite event. You don’t have to completely give up your own interests, but when you encourage the things they are passionate about it builds great memories!
Learn a hobby together
Hobbies provide the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with the family. Choose a new hobby to learn as a family. You’ll be surprised how much fun you can have trying something new together.
Make it a priority to get out of the house!
When everyone is busy, taking time to head outside and play in nature makes for great family time. Whether you’re camping in the backyard or just enjoying your local park, getting away from screens and into fresh air can be just what your family needs.
Regular family movie night!
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it works! Get everyone to agree on a family favorite, bring your pillows and snacks into the living room and enjoy an evening of quality time together.
Hold family meetings
Family meetings are a great opportunity for parents to discuss upcoming events, talk about how everyone’s week went and establish clear guidelines and rules. They only take 15-20 minutes but can create so much peace and direction in your family. Plan a short family meeting once a week for best results.
Plan special gatherings
When you’re busy, it’s easy to miss out on special occasions! Schedule gatherings such as birthdays and anniversaries into your calendar regularly. Whether you set up a cake or just order some takeout – these moments can’t be forgotten and everyone will appreciate the extra effort!
Ways to keep kids interested in family time:
It’s not hard to miss the eye roll of a disinterested teen (or pre-teen) when you tell them it’s family night. The pull of friends, activities, and extracurriculars can make it hard to keep the whole family interested in spending time together. Here’s how to keep everyone invested in time together as a family:
Kids love to create and do special projects together. Encourage their creativity by planning a weekend afternoon where you all get out the paint, paper and glue! It’s an opportunity for everyone in your family to express themselves through art (and make some really cool keepsakes too!)
Let them take the lead
Let your kids plan a few things for family time. If they have their own ideas about what to do, it will be more likely that they’ll want to come along! Make sure you support them and don’t push back on their choices.
Don’t overschedule your family!
Just because you have a calendar doesn’t mean it needs to be filled up every day. Make sure your family knows that weekends and holidays are the time for fun! This will encourage everyone in your home to look forward to these days instead of feeling overwhelmed with planning.
If you’re all busy, working together can be a great way to spend time with your family. Let everyone know that they are responsible for their own tasks but also help each other out when needed! You’ll feel closer as a team if you work on completing shared goals and projects.
Make quality time with the family fun
The most important thing is to make family time fun and exciting. If you’re dreading it, your kids will be too! Instead of dragging everyone along to every activity that pops up on the schedule, be intentional about what your family does together.
Keeping family time a priority
It can be hard to find time for everyone in your family, but these strategies will help you keep quality time with the family a priority. There are so many ways that you can spend quality time together as a family. As long as it’s fun and special then it doesn’t matter what activity you choose – just make sure you do it.
What are some of your best tips? Share them below!