As a parent, you know more than anyone that family time is important, but the thing is, it’s so easily pushed aside when life grows busy. In any case, you don’t necessarily need to plan a grandiose outing or event to make family time count. Here are a couple of ways to find more time for the family.
Start with yourself. Admit it, sometimes you’re actually the reason why family time is limited or non-existent. You too should have your limits. Give yourself just one evening out during the week. The takeaway here is that you can’t be there for the kids when you’re not around. Start doing things that build closeness like playing together, roasting mallows in the yard, cuddles in front of the fire when watching movie. These things are impossible if you keep using the front door like it’s a revolving door.
Cut TV watching. Television is great, true. But it doesn’t really help a family get more time enjoying each other’s company – talking, having fun together – things that count. Start off by turning the TV off during meals. This can result in a better table talk and less noisy atmosphere at dinner. You can also try No TV Monday or time-of-day breaks. More time for reading, talking, playing, and reading.
Limit kids’ activities. Overscheduling can kill family time. Limit your kids to just one afterschool activity. Oftentimes this is harder for us parents to consider than our kids. You want your son to play in the hockey team, but he wants to practice the guitar? What then.
Teaching your kids to make choices is also a part of being a good parent. While activities can build skills, and give our children a sense of what they can do, it can also rob family time which gives them a sense of who they are.
Quick family activities to try:
- Go camping. Visit the great outdoors! With the whole family, take off for the mountains and go stargazing, storytelling, barbequing, etc.
- Have a sports day. If you have an active family, you can play sports together like softball, badminton, or basketball. Not into team sports? Try running together.
- Holiday travels. Holidays are some of the best times to catch up lost time. Go as a family and explore places you’ve never been before to bond and create special memories.
- Visit relatives. Time for some real family time. Bring the kids to visit your relatives, especially their grandparents for a weekend.
Where are all this lack of time coming from anyway? Consider why you lack the time in the first place. Is it work? Long commute? Tiring travel? Perhaps your neighbourhood doesn’t have or isn’t near good amenities. These issues can be alleviated if you live in a community that’s complete with good amenities and all the necessities of a family while being in close proximity to the city. Check out Brisbane display homes and villages to look at such type of neighbourhood.
In some ways, it’s not the amount of time you spend with your family, but how you spend the time you have that will really matter. Whether you have 15 minutes or five hours, make that time count.