With School Starting how does one Make Family Time?

back to school signWith the onset of school starting.  Parents are faced with the question, “How do we create family time?”

School means a schedule which isn’t bad, but it can also mean less quality time for families.

With sports, late nights, getting homework done and extra school activities, there is less free time in a school day.  How do we combat this and make family time a priority?  Below I will give you useful tips to make sure this school season is a great experience for you and your whole family.

Deciding What’s Important

When we look at our everyday schedules, we decide what’s important and what’s not.  The not so important things never make it on our schedule or have a limited time slot.  This is the beginning of making sure you have quality family time.  If you have a family then they should be a priority, and one of the first things you schedule on your daily planners.

I’m Too Busy

I'm too busyI heard a saying from a successful business man, one whose schedule is packed and who also has a family.  He said, “If you don’t have ten minutes, then you don’t have a life.”  People will make time for what’s important.  My hope is your family is one of those and therefore no matter how busy you are, you will have time for them.  I don’t care how much you work or if you’re the sole bread-winner in the family.  If they’re important you can take a minimum of ten minutes to spend time with them.

What is Quality Time?

The dictionary describes it as: “Time spent in giving another person one’s undivided attention in order to strengthen a relationship, especially with reference to working parents and their child or children.”  How appropriate since that’s exactly what we’re talking about.  We want to build relationships with our children whether school has started or not.  Setting quality time out will add to your child and who they become as adults.  Even for parents who home-school their children, we should to be careful and make sure we set aside quality time.

What Type of Activity Qualifies as Quality time?

family timeYou’ve read the definition of quality time above, but I’ll give you some examples.  It could be as simple as putting a puzzle together with a younger child, teaching them to ride a bike or reading them a book they pick.  For older children, it could be taking ten minutes to listen as they explain their day, an idea they have or show you something they’ve made.  Remember “undivided attention” qualifies as quality time.  For teens taking them to the gym with you, running together or getting involved with them and their passion is a great way to spend quality time.

Fitting Family Time in and School

There’s always time to fit family in.  Read a book while supper is simmering, or go for that jog after homework and before supper.  Even if homework isn’t quite completed, it’s healthy to take a break and come back to it, especially since they’ve sat in class rooms all day.  If you home-school or your kids attend public school, it’s still nice to give your child free time after school before assigning a task.  Their attitudes will improve and their minds will work more efficiently.

Enjoying Your Time Together

family timeLet’s face it, something always needs to be done.  It’s getting harder and harder for adults to take time away from their work or tasks.  With cell phones as mini computers and electricity, we can work until all hours of the night never taking a break or time for family.  If we do it’s usually not quality time.  Life is short and you only have your children for an even shorter period.  Don’t waste your time together being distracted.  Enjoy it and them.

Taking the Challenge

I want to leave you with this challenge.  Try to spend at least 10 minutes of quality family time each day.  Remember Quality and Quantity are not always the same.  This might not seem like a lot of time to some, but to others they don’t spend even that.  Ten minutes is just a starting point not a set time.  If it’s not as a whole family then spend it individually with each child.  Also make supper a priority.  That should be a time where you as a family can celebrate being together.  As sports go later and later this gets harder and harder.  If this is the case, then perhaps you should limit the amount of sports your child takes part in.  Sports don’t make a child a family does.  So, whether school has started or not, family time should never be put aside.  Take the challenge and enjoy your one of a kind family.

Have a Happy Family Filled School Year!

-Heather Earles

Time is a Precious Gem

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