The events of 2020 might have had you spending a load of additional time with your kids and your spouse. For many, hours were reduced, jobs were lost, or you had to work remotely. Maybe you work long hours, commute and hardly see your family during the week. No matter the circumstance, you have the opportunity to become more intentional about spending quality time with family.
Personally 2020 brought many unexpected changes to our household! One of my children began doing virtual school full time from home. My husband’s job required him to become an almost 100% remote employee. And, I was taking a class, working two part-time jobs, and then lost the job with the most hours.
Although our family was at home “together” a majority of the time, we weren’t spending much quality time together.
According to StudyFinds.org “Americans are enjoying just 37 minutes of “quality time” as a family on weekdays.” However, they usually try to catch up on weekends when family time expands to about 3 hours.
Other studies show that even a few minutes of togetherness sprinkled throughout the day can strengthen family ties. Small gestures make a big difference.
Find out more about how to nurture the important relationships in your life. Try these techniques for maximizing quality time.
Maximizing Quality Time with Family
Your kids are going to consume your time one way or another. Build strong relationships with them now to avoid bailing them out later.
Proactive parenting will help your children to become more resilient and make wiser choices.
Use these strategies:
1. Pay Attention!
Boost your child’s self-esteem and social skills by removing distractions and giving them your undivided attention.
Turn the TV off.
Take a break from sales reports and your thoughts about the bills.
Listen closely to what your children have to say and show your enthusiasm for their interests.
2. Dine Together
Enjoy family dinners.
Linger around the table or plan activities for afterwards.
You can make an evening out of renting a movie or doing crafts.
3. Play and Dance
Too many structured activities can crowd out time for independent play.
Let boredom teach you and your family to come up with inventive and creative entertainment strategies.
Leave room in your schedule for laughter and silliness.
4. Have Deep Conversations
Earn your child’s trust by letting them ask questions without fear of being judged or embarrassed. They’ll be more likely to confide in you when they’re struggling.
You can also use news stories and movies as prompts to discuss important issues.
And don’t let age keep you from discussing what you consider to be more mature topics. Find ways to incorporate age-appropriate language to discuss current events.
5. Go on Vacation
Washington Post, relayed a study finding that 55% of Americans didn’t use all of their vacation in 2018.
Ditch the guilt and use your personal leave time!
Family outings create lasting memories, and you may feel more relaxed away from home.
Maximizing Quality Time with Your Spouse
Does your spouse seem more like your roommate sometimes?
It’s natural for the honeymoon phase to pass, but you can revitalize your relationship. In fact, you can apply many of the same techniques you use with other family and friends and supercharge them for your relationship.
Try these techniques:
1. Schedule Date Nights
Aim for at least one date night a month to focus on being a couple.
If you’re too tired to plan a night out, it’s okay to stay home as long as you do something more fun than working on your taxes or talking about the kids.
2. Find a Hobby to Do Together
Sharing common interests draws you closer together too.
Team up on a home improvement job or take a scuba diving class.
3. Support Each Other
Romance in a relationship doesn’t have to be flowers, chocolates, and gifts. Ordinary kindnesses can go a long way in your marriage.
Bring your spouse a cup of coffee while they’re working at home.
Send them an encouraging text on their way to a dentist appointment.
Or, simply compliment their appearance (which you probably haven’t done in a few weeks, if you’re being honest).
Maximizing Quality Time with Yourself
It’s important that you not forget to take care of yourself, too.
When you honor your needs, you increase your capacity to care for your loved ones.
Keep these tips in mind:
1. Work Out
An active lifestyle is essential for your wellbeing. You’ll also be serving as a positive role model for your kids.
2. Eat Healthy
Prepare nutritious meals and snacks for your family and yourself. Give your kids age-appropriate kitchen tasks so they can pitch in and start forming wholesome habits.
3. Sleep Well
Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
Being well rested can make you a better communicator, which in turn can make you a better spouse and more patient parent.
With enough planning and effort, you can share more quality time with the ones you love.
Strengthening the connections to your wellbeing and to your family brings more happiness and stability into your life and creates a brighter future for your children.
Quality Time with Family Series
This is part 4 in the series about family and quality time! Here’s what we have:
- Parents, Make Time for Your Kids
- Get Rid of Facebook (Be a Better, Happier Parent)
- Maximize Time With your Family (THIS POST)
- Ways to Spend Quality Time With Family