More than ever, people realise the importance of spending time with their families. But the realities of life have not changed.
More than 50% of households have two working parents, household chores are still endless, bosses remain demanding and normal work-weeks have grown to 50-plus-hours. So, how do we find time for our families?
Here are seven suggestions:
1. Where Did The Time Go:
Limit the use of things that gobble up time. Try to cut back on your use of the internet and watching television.
It is misleading to think of TV time as family time. You probably are groaning right now but each hour online or in front of the television is one less you spend interacting with your family.
2. Spend Time Together:
The best family time often is simply spending time together. For example, many parents and children look forward to a bedtime story.
According to one busy father, “we have given up a lot of evening activities we enjoy in order to put our children to bed. My wife reads a story to our son, and I read one to our daughter.”
3. Fun And Games:
Many parents find that they are able to turn household chores into fun games with their young children. Better, a single mum, recalls doing this with her son Jared.
“We sorted the laundry together, took out the trash, did all sorts of housework together. Everything was an event which we turned into something fun,” she explained.
4. One On One Time:
Set aside time each day when your children know they have your undivided attention. This gives them structure and assures them they will be heard.
Cynthia, a successful make-up artist, spends the first half-hour when she gets home talking with her three-year-old son. We talk about his day, what he liked about it and what he didn’t like about it. Now he asks me,”how was your day mum?”
5. It’s Not Just Food:
Many families find it helpful to have a consistent dinner time, where everyone attends. It is estimated that fewer than 50% of families eat together every night.
To make this happen, families must stop other activities (phone calls, emails etc.) during dinner. One working mum says, “we eat dinner at 6 pm year-around.” This was important when the kids were young as well as through their teenage years.
Give your family something to look forward to. Travelling together is exciting for children and gives families time to unwind together.
Plan family vacations and weekends away. If money is an issue, save up air miles or visit a relative.
7. New Year Resolutions:
This year, my husband and I made family resolutions to get out of work early Friday nights, attend religious services at least once a month and commit Friday night to family time. We have found that these commitments have deepened our bond.
Copyright, Dr. Jenn Mann. Read all about her here.