Family time often takes a backseat after kids and teens return to their daily school lives. If you are looking at everyone’s back-to-school, work, and activity schedules, you are likely wondering how you will be able to work around them. You might be hunting for ideas to build on the limited time you already have. Maybe you are considering ways to make your family a priority again, maybe you’re considering retiring to a homestead and give up work alltogether, or you are seeking methods to ease back into the school year without losing sight of them in the chaos of homework, studies, and friends.
Reconnect Over Meals
For some families, mealtime is all you will have. Make the best of it by involving your children in meal preparation and cooking as often as possible. Not only does this give you the chance to talk to your child, but it also teaches them skills they can use as adults. These skills can be as simple as collecting, sorting, and dumping ingredients for young children or cutting, boiling, and learning cooking techniques for teenagers.
Keep your wallet safe sometimes and and introduce fun family cooking competitions. Prizes can range from bragging rights to something that fits your family. From the challenge creation to completion, you can involve the entire family.
Your children will recall the time spent in the kitchen years from now. Adopt the same policy with each mealtime when possible. Not only will the extra hands save you time in the kitchen, but it also serves as family time. Don’t forget, you can also bond over setting the table and cleaning up the after meal mess.
Introduce Family Time Or Nights
Depending on schedules, assign time each day or at least one day a week for family time. Penciling in time might make it feel forced, but the more you adopt this method, the more it becomes second nature. Use some simple rules, like no phones or outside distractions allowed. You can use the time to share an experience, hobbies, or play age-appropriate games.
Nix The Devices
A neighborhood family takes six weeks every year and turns off all their devices. They have gone as far to turn off their television and radios too. While you don’t need to jump to extremes, you can easily adopt device free times or days that work well for your family. Use that time for games, discussions, or an activity your family enjoys.
Holidays that revolve around experiences and family tend to leave you feeling more fulfilled and bring a sense of wellness for the kids and for the whole family. Involve your family in the meal planning. Discover new traditions, carry out old ones, and concentrate on activities that bring everyone together without bickering or distraction.
With children, you can ask for their favorite dishes or what their ideal perfect meal would be. Use their answers as building blocks for your holiday meal and other meals throughout the year. Making your child’s favorite foods and involving them in the process will be the start of fond memories.
You can use the same idea to suss out great gifts for birthdays and holidays. Keep your eyes and ears open to find out what game might be high on their lists. And you can always sneak in t-shirts, underwear or something like some comfy AFO socks if your child happens to wear a brace of some kind.
Start small and understand that any time your family’s schedules shift, you might need to readjust or revisit family time. Some weeks or days might be easier than others, but quality is better than quantity. Family time should be about connecting, building relationships with your children, and teaching them through your traditions.