I don’t know about you, but it’s getting harder and harder in this world to create a good, true, strong family unit. There are so many distractions surrounding us; however, I think it’s so important as a family unit to develop a sense of unity and confidence in each other. I think it’s necessary for the kids to feel connected and loved at home. And it can be fun! So I thought a good post would be some tips on how we work towards quality time as a family.
Tips for Quality Family Time
Let me start by saying, every family is different and some of these might not work for your family. They are suggestions that I think are worth considering, but to each their own! Do what you know to be best for your family! I think working toward quality family time in any way can make a big difference in your home!
Our world is moving so fast. Breakfasts on-the-go, lunch in the car, and family members are having dinners at all different times during the evenings because of conflicting schedules. It’s tough! Running to and from practices and rehearsals, playing chauffeur and still trying to manage every one’s lives. It’s exhausting. Try slowing down. Your kid won’t die if they can only choose one extracurricular activity each season. Saying no to the pulls of the outside world most certainly won’t hurt your family: it will help! The less crazy life is the more you can stay at home and enjoy family!
Limit screen time
I know this won’t be a popular one. Trust me, I understand! I remember the days when Baby Einstein saved the day. However, the older my kids have gotten, I have realized how super important it is to turn off the TV or Wii and let them — or make them — use their imaginations! And you know what? After a few moments of being forced to play with their toys or outside, they are content and usually end up playing all day! Now, I don’t have old enough kids to have their own individual phone/screen time, I’m sure that’s more difficult, but learning to be present is a great quality to have in this day and age! Just to be clear, I don’t think electronics/screens are bad! They are an amazing invention that we now cannot live without. And for good reason, they’re very practical! The screens are not the bad guys, it’s just all about learning how to use them and manage them.
Have screen time together
Nowadays everyone has their own screen. It’s practical and often very helpful. However, the idea of a central screen used together can actually bring the family together. We had one TV in my house growing up (different times, I know) but some of my greatest memories are watching shows like Get Smart and Ninja Turtles with my family. Even if you have more than one screen (we most certainly do) have a central one where you can spend time together while watching is a great way to cultivate quality time.
Eat meals together
We have been working on this one a lot lately and there are so many reasons this is a good idea. For one, it helps your kids learn the proper manners that they should have while eating at a table. We had gotten away from eating together for a while and one night we sat down to eat and I realized my kids weren’t sitting properly, were being crazy at the table, messing around and it was terrible! We have since spent some quality time at the table learning how to eat properly, sit properly and have actual conversations as a family. It’s been fabulous! It also gives you a chance to talk to you kids after school and sports and build a healthy relationship.
We really can’t go back in time or ignore electronics. They are a huge part of our world! And rightly so, they’re useful, practical and fun! I know they’ve helped our family on more than a couple occasions! Why not use them to keep family connected? My husband often has away games where he has to be gone throughout the weekend. He has missed more of our son’s running practices than he has been to. However, with Skype, we’ve been able to stay connected as a family and he can watch his son run! It’s the perfect way to stay connected throughout the day and when life gets super busy, because sometimes, even when we try to simplify, life is crazy. Having Skype on my computer, iPad and phone has been a lifesaver! I love this little video of how a family uses Skype. Of course it’s not ideal to be stuck at work, but if you have to be, isn’t it great that we can stay connected? I love it!
What do you think – are these some good tips to have some quality family time? What would you add? Do you use Skype to stay connected with your family?