[dropcap]We all know that spending time with loved ones – particularly our kids – is vital for maintaining strong bonds and relationships. Quality time with family can help children learn social skills and perform better in school. Setting time aside for you and your spouse can strengthen your marriage and commitment to each other. The simple act of being together is the best way to show that we care for one another.[/dropcap]
But with busy work schedules, school, ballet practices, soccer games, household chores, homework and more, finding just a few minutes of time to spend together can become a challenge. Try these tips and ideas to help make together time a priority this year.
Plan a Weekly Family Night
At the beginning of each week, look at everyone’s schedule and select an evening to spend together. Share a meal around the table without the distraction of smartphones and other digital devices. Go on a hike at a nearby park and watch the sunset. Play a board game. Whatever you choose, the important thing is that you are together having fun and making memories.
Become Actively Involved in Your Kids’ Activities
Every kid is different. One may be interested in drawing and painting, another in setting a school record in track. Whatever it is that your children, and especially your teens, are passionate about, invest time in learning about it as well. Find ways to support their interests and get involved. Take a painting class with your little artist or go for a run with your dedicated athlete. These activities will help you better connect with your children and can lead to heartfelt conversations.
Have a Date Night With Your Significant Other
If it feels like you haven’t seen your spouse or significant other in a while, set a time to have a date. Hire a babysitter and get out of the house. Your date night doesn’t have to be fancy – grab some sandwiches and have a picnic at a local park, pop into a quaint café for a latte or head to a fun center and play a round of mini golf. Juggling your schedule with your significant other’s can be difficult, but when you choose to spend time together, your relationship strengthens and grows. And when your relationship is strong, your entire family benefits.
Start a Family Group Chat
Sometimes our smartphones keep our families from spending time with another, but there are ways they can actually bring everyone together. Start a group text thread with everyone in the family. Use it to send reminders and ask questions like, “What does everyone want on their pizza tonight?” Send random pictures of the family pet throughout the day. While this can’t replace talking face-to-face with each other, family group texts are a wonderful way to remain connected.
Get Started Now
With the new year still just getting started, it’s your perfect opportunity to start making together time a priority. It will allow your kids to develop close family bonds that they’ll rely on for the rest of their lives, and it will allow you to become more deeply connected to those who matter most.