Sitting in front of the boob-tube isn’t really how one would spend quality time with family. But, that’s what many of us do after a long day of work.
Either that, or you’ll see many people glued to their smartphones.
Heck, you can’t go out to dinner in a restaurant anymore without seeing little ones playing with a phone or tablet.
Now, as much as I understand mom and dad needing to eat dinner in peace on occasion, I can’t help but wonder if this is a regular practice. And if so, do they every spend true quality time with their children?
I like to have some peace and quiet myself, but I know my children need their parents to be active and involved. My daughter regularly wants to show off the lizards she finds in the yard or the newfound skill on her violin.
My son yaps my ear off about stuff at school and wants to show me his latest drawing.
Most times, I nod, but I’m not really paying attention. I’m pretty sure my kids realize it and when I notice that I’ve blown them off, I quickly apologize. If I can, I break away from what I’m doing to give them a moment of my time. If I’m on a deadline, I ask them to remind me to listen or look when I am not working.
When I finally make the time to pay attention, I see their faces light up and I know they really needed me to be intentional and present.
So, that’s what I’m going to work on this year! Being more intentional and present. I’m going to attempt to spend quality time with my family, free from distractions when I can. But, I don’t want to just do normal stuff. So, I’m going to tap into a list of opportunities.
14 Ways to Spend Quality Time With Family
Be Part of the Morning Routine
Bake in a few minutes to sit at the table with the kids in the morning and help them get ready for the day.
Use my tips for crushing the school morning routine … trust me, you’ll be able to find a few extra minutes for drinking coffee and chatting it up with the kids!
Be Involved in a Bedtime Routine
Whether you’re helping little ones getting ready for bed or reading for a few minutes at night, be present at night! Take a couple extra minutes to talk about how the day went and spend a moment simply enjoying being with your child.
Family Game Night
Break away from the mundane and have a game night about once a week. Give each kid a night to pick the game you’ll play, or take turns choosing games if they’re shorter ones.
Family Movie Night
There’s something magical about dimming the lights, popping pop corn, and snuggling on the couch with your family for a cute movie.
Cook Dinner or Bake Treats Together
Don’t let the ordinary task of preparing dinner stop you from having special bonding moments with your children. Include age-appropriate tasks your kids can help with while you’re in the kitchen.
If your child is still young, they can do simple things like placing napkins on the table.
Involve Them in Chores
Chores aren’t just great for teaching kids to be responsible for themselves! Participating in chores together will give them a sense of belonging in the family (as it would in the sense of volunteering and belonging in a community) which is just one reason kids should have chores anyway.
Plus, you never know what kind of fun opportunities to laugh or learn may come out of sharing chores.
Sneak in a Break
Sometimes it’s harder than others to find time to spend with your family.
One of my favorite ways to spend quality time with my kids, now that we’re home most days, is to take my lunch break with them. My oldest is in virtual school at the moment, so I wait to have my lunch break when she’s taking hers.
You have to eat or get up from your chair on occasion, so attempt to take that break when the kids are available as well.
Take Pictures Together
We all have our phones within reach most times, so why not use the cameras and take some impromptu family selfies or snap a few pictures of them enjoying whatever activity they’re doing.
They’ll be happy that you’re taking interest in them and having yourself in some pictures is always nice!
Take a Walk
Although a nature hike would be amazing, a walk doesn’t have to mean serious walking shoes and major planning. Take a walk, hand-in-hand, to the mailbox or around the block.
This is a great opportunity to put your phone in your pocket and focus solely on your kids!
Or, maximize the time with your family and take photos while on your walk.
Have a Family Hobby
Find something the whole family can enjoy and do it together.
Popular family activities are camping, hiking, boating, and biking. Whatever you do, find a hobby you’ll all enjoy so that everyone is happy. The last thing you want is for any member of the family to feel stressed or irritated with the hobby.
Read a Book
Reading a book together as a family can be as simple as a short story or as dedicated as choosing a long chapter book.
If you are looking to spend quality time with your family that includes younger children, keep the books light and short so as not to lose their attention.
Build with Legos
Who doesn’t like Legos? Buy a new set and work on it together as a family. Or, take some of the zillion you’ve already got around the house and build your own creations.
Find something of interest for the whole family and learn about it.
Certainly one of the kids has had a dinosaur obsession, has been fascinated by art, or is interested in sports. Pick a subject and learn more about it!
Don’t just talk about random things … share stories with your kids about your lives!
You can share fond memories of your childhood or discuss current events that are making you think about your life in new ways.
Involve them in the discussion and let them ask questions.
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
- Ways to Spend Quality Time With Family (THIS POST)