Parents and their children are spending less time interacting with each other. As a result, many children are getting less personal love and attention than their parents did. American Demographics reported that parents today spend roughly 40 percent less time with their children than parents did a generation ago.
Keep in mind, quantity time and quality time are both important when choosing activities. So build memories by keeping your family time creative and enjoyable. Here are 10 tips to better family time:
1. Eat together and listen to each other
Most children today don’t know the meaning of a family dinnertime. Yet the communication and unity built during this setting is integral to a healthy family life. Sharing a meal together allows the opportunity to talk about each other’s lives. This is a time for parents to listen, as well as to give advice and encouragement. Attentive listening conveys a message that a person is interested in another. It also imparts a sense of worth and helps develop trust.
2. Read often
Research indicates that reading to your children cultivates an interest for knowledge and stimulates language development. It also increases their attention spans and helps them become more curious. Look for books that your child would enjoy reading. After reading, ask questions about the content.
3. Do chores together
Part of what goes on in the home is the development of teamwork. Functional family life depends on the contribution of everyone. Assigning chores is the most productive way of teaching responsibility and accountability to your children. Doing chores with your child will help foster good communication skills.
4. Help with schoolwork
Spend quality time with children and light a fire of learning by helping children with their schoolwork. A parent’s eagerness to help will cause a child to become more interested in school, improving his or her grades. Regular trips to the library for school projects are an inexpensive and enjoyable way to spend time with children. Helping should begin with an understanding that children are responsible for homework. Parents are there to help their child get organized and to encourage them when they get stuck.
5. Start a hobby or project
Choose a fun activity that your child is interested in. Activities like cooking, crafts, fishing or biking will make great hobbies that can open the door to exciting family time. Once a child learns a new recipe or is able to cast a lure accurately, let him or her take the lead with your supervision.
6. Play games
New technology has made video games more prevalent. Play with them, but also spark an interest in family-oriented contests such as board games or card games. This will give you additional time to talk and nurture the relationship.
7. Plan a family outing
Sometimes getting out of the house is important. Get in the family car and go for a drive. Prepare a picnic lunch and visit a local park. Take time to play catch or ride a bike. A stroll in the woods will help you interact. Also, a visit to the zoo or museum may spark a child’s enthusiasm and lead to good discussions.
8. Encourage athletic activities
Sports not only strengthen the body, but also build character and determination. Whether it’s a father pitching a baseball to a son or a mother and daughter nature walking, finding time for athletic events is important for a child’s emotional and physical development. This is a great opportunity for a family to interact.
9. Create a Family Time calendar
Since many parents have hectic schedules, time with children often becomes a low priority whether intended or not. Post a calendar on the refrigerator and have parents and children pencil in special events. Knowing when you’re going to meet may also help you think of creative activities. Commit to keeping this schedule free from interruptions.
10. Pray together and attend a house of worship
Nothing is more special than taking a few minutes each day to pray with a child before bedtime. By explaining the purpose behind prayer, children will learn the importance of faith as the foundation for the family. Also, when parents go to religious services, they instill in their children a reverence for God. Churches can also offer invaluable support to families.