Spending quality time together as a family isn’t always easy. Most modern families are busy, always on the go, and in a rush. While they might spend time together, a lot of it is with one eye on their phones or checking emails. Getting the whole family together can get even harder when the kids are older, and they want to be with their friends or smartphones more than their parents and siblings.
But quality time together is important. It helps us to strengthen bonds, and kids who spend more time with their parents are more likely to confide in them if something is wrong. Here are some tips if your family struggles to spend proper time together.
Have a Regular Games Night
A regular games night, whether it’s once a week, or once a month is a time that you commit to having fun together without phones and other distractions. You could play video games, board games, or word games like scrabble, using an unscrambler to help if you get stuck.
Take turns choosing the games, get rid of all other distractions and enjoy some time together. Game nights can also be great fun if extended family are visiting or if you are on holiday.
Take Turns Picking Activities
If your children are far apart in age, or they have very different interests, finding things that everyone enjoys can make quality time together difficult. So, take it in turns choosing a group activity for the weekend. This way no one is left out, and you are all encouraged to try new things and find shared interests.
Exercising together is a great way to spend time together without distractions while setting a good example for your kids and keeping everyone fit and healthy. Jogging, walking, hiking, and bike rides are all great things that you can do as a family, and things like ice skating and rollerblading can be great fun.
Leave Phones at Home
When you do go out together, try to leave your phones at home if possible, or at least restrict how often you check them. You might have rules for older kids, and it will be easier to enforce them if you stick to the same rules during family time. Show the kids that you cherish your time with them, and they might do the same.
Eat Together at Home
Eating together is a good way to spend a little time together as a family every single day. If you’ve got a dining table, use it. If not, at least make sure the TV is off, and other screens are out of reach. Use this time to talk about your days and to catch up with the news. If some days you can’t eat dinner together, try to do breakfast instead.
Eating out together is an excellent experience. It helps your children to develop table manners, social skills, and a healthy relationship with food. Adding a meal to a trip is also a wonderful way to turn smaller events into days out. Add a picnic to a park trip and it seems a bit more special. Go for lunch after you’ve been swimming and you’ll spend more time together without having to come up with another plan.
Enjoy One on One Time
If you’ve got more than one child, it can be a good idea to spend quality time with them one at a time occasionally. Pay them individual attention and make them feel special. Something as simple as a cinema trip and dinner without their siblings will make them feel valued and this might be something that they look forward to.
Stick to Bedtime Stories
When your children start reading well by themselves, they no longer need you to read them a bedtime story. But this short time together at the end of each day is a valuable way to get a little quality time together, and it’s something that even much older children can enjoy. Even teenagers can enjoy reading something longer like The Lord of the Rings with a parent.
Many families enjoy a camping trip together. It’s a wonderful way to get back to nature, get away from technology, and enjoy each other’s company. A yearly trip can become a fabulous tradition that you can all enjoy.
Go All Out on Movie Night
Getting together for a movie on the sofa is an easy way to spend a little time together, but why not make it something more? Prepare snacks and drinks, pick a few different movies, and bring duvets and pillows down from the bedrooms. You could even bring a mattress down or get an airbed to enjoy a movie-watching slumber party.
Quality family time has benefits for everyone. So, start committing to it, making regular plans, and banning distractions.