Finding Family Together Time

by Margaret Biello 10/20/2019

Something must give. You know you are running at top speed most days. Then you read an article or two about how when families do such and so together, it benefits each member. Benefits like improved mental health, better school and work performance, and greater communication. In theory, you agree wholeheartedly, but in the practical application you know trying to coordinate these events result in personal frustration and stress. What do you do?

When your kids are young, you set their schedule. Naptime, playtime, when they eat and where they go are all in your control. When they are older their activities will often set the schedule. You allow what they are involved in, so you still have a significant influence on the family schedule. As, they become more independent, in their teenage years, they choose their activities and social calendar. So, family time all together can go from a natural part of your day to a scattered, rare occasion. Knowing the benefits of having a regular family mealtime and spending time as a family does not make it an easy thing to accommodate. Setting up a few things that your family does together and keeping those times prioritized can cut the stress of fitting in one more thing. 

Your priorities, not the experts'

Pick what activities are the most important to you and your family. Do not overwhelm yourself with "have to's." Instead, make the most of the times when you are all together. Cultivating family relationships is the goal when planning time together. When you focus on too many of the have-to because you somehow think you need to do everything the "experts" say, you will end up running yourself in circles. Your kids will not want to spend time together because you will be stressed out from the unnecessary pressure you put on yourself. Keep it simple and in rhythm with how your family already flows. Simplicity will set the atmosphere for growing communications and strengthening bonds. 

Keep it Simple

Some ideas for family bonding time if you do not already have some in your weekly schedule are:

- One weekday family meal 

- Walk around the neighborhood

- Family game night in the living room

- Morning brunch 

- Plant and maintain a small vegetable garden

You know what will draw your family into more in-depth discussions. The time together is about connecting and reminding each other of how much you love and value each other. Before you know it, they will be out the door and on their own. 

Plan this week to do something all together as a family that promotes connecting.

About the Author
Author

Margaret Biello

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