Tips for Spending Quality Time as a Family
It seems like families are spending less and less time together. Even though we may share the same living spaces, our interactions are more and more infrequent. Unfortunately, modern life is causing us to lose the habit of spending quality time as a family.
A recent demographic study in the United States, for example, reported that parents today spend approximately 40% less time with their children than the past generation of parents. This is very concerning since spending quality time as a family and making that time matter is very important.
Quality time produces great benefits when it comes to family relationships. What’s more, in children, it helps with their emotions and development. Sharing quality time as a family improves family communication as well as emotional bonds and relationships.
What is quality time?
Before going any further, it’s crucial we take a moment to define what “quality time” actually means. And once we’ve clarified the definition, we can see how it’s possible to spend more quality time with those we love.
The quality lies in both communication and sharing. Children, furthermore, need to be given an active role in the activity or situation that you’re sharing. It’s important that they understand that you’re paying attention to them, are nearby, and that this is a time to spend as a family.
Make a family time calendar
Since many parents have busy schedules, time with children becomes less and less of a priority. But we need to be intentional about not allowing that to happen. One thing you can do to combat this tendency is making a family time calendar.
To do so, place a calendar on your refrigerator where you and your children can schedule special events for each day. The idea is to think of creative activities, playtime, family outings, game nights, etc. It’s important that your entire family commit to sticking to the activities you place on the calendar.
Sharing meals as a family
Today, many children don’t truly understand what a family dinner is. The communication and unity that this context creates are fundamental when it comes to achieving a healthy family life. Sharing a meal together gives us the opportunity to talk about life and how each family member’s day went.
The time we spend at the table as a family is a perfect opportunity for parents to listen to their children, offer advice, and give encouragement. Listening attentively sends the message that you’re invested in one another. All of this helps to build a sense of trust among the members of your family.
Spending quality time as a family: Read together often
There are a number of studies that affirm that reading to children cultivates an interest in knowledge and stimulates language development. What’s more, it increases their ability to pay attention and encourages them to be more creative.
To spend quality time together as a family, we can choose to share the activity of reading. Set aside a time for afternoon reading on the weekend, after school, during the summer…whenever you have the time.
It’s important to look for books that capture your children’s interest. Afterward, you can ask them questions about what they read and open up an informal debate. Doing so will boost communication.
After reading together for a while, you can talk about what each family member is reading. What’s the most interesting thing you read? What do you like or dislike about your book? This will produce very beneficial moments of attention among your family members.
New technologies have made it so that video games are becoming more and more frequent in homes. You can play video games as a family and turn this into quality time. As you play, you can talk and have fun together.
However, you shouldn’t forget about board games and card games. These offer additional quality time and make it easier to talk while you’re playing than most video games.
Plan and enjoy family outings
Going out and spending time together away from home is also very important. Of course, you can simply get in the car and drive to a place that your children enjoy. But that shouldn’t be the only thing you do together as a family.
It’s important to plan family outings ahead of time. For example, do things like go on family bike rides, spend a day out in the country, or go to a museum together. Children get excited as they help to plan these outings, anticipate their arrival, and, of course, enjoy the outings themselves.
All of this will give your family times to talk together… Not only as you’re making plans, but also while you’re carrying them out.
In conclusion, what really matters to children is the quality of the time you spend together – not just quantity. Families need to create times where children can enjoy the company, affection, and attention of their parents.It might interest you...