If you find that your family doesn’t spend enough quality time together, you can take some simple steps to bring your family closer again.
Eat dinner together at least half the time
Conflicting schedules make it almost impossible for families to sit down at the table and eat together every single day. So set a goal to eat together at least half the time. Have your kids help pick the menu, as well as prepare and cook the food. Cooking and baking together can be fun family time. Teach them about traditional family recipes and help them discover new recipes online. When you sit down to the table, turn off the TV and talk about everyone’s day.
Create family traditions
Around Christmas, we talk a lot about family traditions, but traditions aren’t just for the holidays. Incorporate rituals and traditions into your weekly routine. Declare Wednesday night family game night. Make Sunday afternoons a time for watching movies together. Spend your Saturday volunteering or helping the less fortunate as a family. Family traditions create memories that your child will remember forever and will be able to share with their own children.
Exercise together as a family
Childhood obesity is an epidemic in this country. A great way to spend quality time together is by exercising as a family. Bike, hike, walk or swim. Even playing tag or Frisbee at the park makes for fantastic fun with your little ones. As kids get older, you can plan ski vacations or other trips where you can stay active.
Limit extracurricular activities
Don’t overschedule your kids by signing them up for every sport and extracurricular activity. These activities are good in moderation by take them away from the family. During the school year, allow your kids to participate in only 1-2 extracurricular activities. And be sure that you attend as many of their games and events as possible.
Have one-on-one time with each child
Kids with siblings need to have some solo time with their parents. Often the “good” kids in the family get left out because we spend so much time with the ones with behavioral or emotional issues. Set time aside each week to have one-on-one time with each child. For example, you might take one child with you when you grocery shop, or let each child stay up half an hour later one night a week to have some quiet, “alone” time with parents.