It seems to be getting more and more difficult to set aside time for family. Most households today have two working parents, a full calendar of activities and events for kids and work and endless errands to run.
Life just seems to move faster, so how do you find time for family?
Hint: You have to make it.
Family time is not only important to keeping connected with your children and spouses, but studies have shown additional benefits it has on children and teenagers as well.
Some of these benefits include:
- Lower risk of emotional stress
- Lower-risk of violent behavior and substance abuse
- Fewer behavioral problems
- Better academic performance
- Greater emotional bonding
So how do you fit in family time with busy schedules?
- Make it realistic. You’re probably not going to be able to sit down and eat dinner together every night, but strive to make it at least two nights per week and keep those nights as consistent as possible. Sunday is a perfect day to begin with.
- Put down electronics. Put down the phones, iPads, video games, etc. and play a board game, make a puzzle, go on a walk or play in the backyard as a family.
- Make the most of time. Talk with your children about their day when in the car heading to activities, school, etc. Focus on them and ask them questions.
- Exercise together. Need to work out? Include your children in this. It’s not only a time to catch up, but exercise is great for everyone! Consider a family membership to Farrell’s or set aside time at home to workout together.
- Volunteer for their activities. Offer some volunteer time in some of their activities to spend a little more time with them, get to know their friends there and have something to talk about.
TKD Tip: When planning family time, make sure to take into consideration their ages and needs. Younger children need more one-on-one attention while older children may prefer some more alone time. Plan accordingly that you always have one event together as a whole family and then decide how much more time you need to dedicate to each child.
Parent/Child Activity: To increase family participation, have your children write down activities they want to do as a family. Put these ideas in a “Family Jar” for selecting once a week. There will be less complaints and more fun when they are involved in selecting the types of activities you do together.