Lots of us can identify with feeling too busy to fit everything in – especially family time. We dream of having more hours in the day to do it all: have a career, exercise, connect with our partner, nurture meaningful friendships, partake in self-care, create time for hobbies, and everything else in between. Inevitably, some priorities get pushed to the back-burner while we’re juggling the day-to-day. Most of us have experienced this! And when we try to focus on too many things at once, none of our priorities receive our full, genuine attention.
Family time is precious, as anyone knows who has watched their children grow up in the blink of an eye. Quality time with your family is invaluable, and when you look back on your life, you will not regret a single moment you chose to spend with your kids. The good news: many of the things you can do with your kids will also check other things off your list. Need to exercise? A family bike ride is good for everyone! Want time for your favorite hobby? Teach your children about your passion and show them how to do it too.
What Does Quality Time Look Like For You?
When you are mindful and present, almost any activity can be a bonding experience! Listening and engaging with your child can turn a drive to school into a meaningful conversation. A picnic in the park can turn a lazy Saturday into a cherished childhood memory.
Here is a list of some fun ideas for quality time with the family:
- Have meals together. Talk about your day and take this time to have meaningful conversations. For instance, you could have each member of the family share the highlight of their day, or something he or she learned.
- Cook together. This can be an opportunity to teach your kids how to cook and also talk openly and freely with one another.
- Have a family reading night. Combine education and fun. Make some snacks and pair with a good book (of your child’s choosing).
- Exercise with your family. Combining quality family time with exercise can be a great way to maximize your time together. Go on a family run after dinner, plan a hike for the weekend, or a take a trip to the pool.
- Volunteer together. Make community time a family project. Spend time with your kids doing something that feels good and helps local organizations. Take turns choosing which events or groups to volunteer with!
- Start a project together. Garden, paint a room in your house, build something, have a cleaning day. This can be a great way to bond with your child while also teaching valuable skills. And a little music in the background goes a long way!
How to effectively schedule in family time
Scheduling in family time sometimes starts with a little unscheduling. Make a list of the priorities in your life. Now try taking a few unnecessary items off your list, even if it’s just for a week. See what it is like to go without your evening TV show, or mowing the lawn. This process will show you what you can live without, and what you can’t.
Chances are, you’ll find some areas where you can free up some additional time for family. Try this exercise for everyone in your household (kids included!)! Once you start replacing other items with family time, even if it’s just a couple times a week, you’ll get in the habit of making family time an easy priority.
Whether it is reading, playing at the park, watching a movie, fishing, baking cookies, or swimming at the river, what matters most is that you’re doing it together. Show your kids that family comes before all else, by setting aside special time to make it happen.
Why Family Time is So Important
Quality time with family has a huge impact on the emotional wellbeing of your child. Kids who have solid family relationships often grow up having stronger senses of self-worth, increased confidence, and deeper connections to their family and friends. And there are major benefits for you, too! Spending time playing with our kids helps us unwind and focus on what’s really meaningful in our lives. It makes the day’s worries seem trivial in comparison to what really matters – family!