It seems to be harder and harder to spend one-on-one time with your spouse or child(children) in this fast-paced world we are living in. But if life is so fast-paced that you or your spouse is finding it difficult to find quality time to spend with each other or your family, it may be time to reevaluate the family schedule.
A study from a couple years ago found that a quarter of the parents partaking in the study spent only 34 minutes of undistracted time with their children because modern day is so distracting. This astounded us!
We wonder what life would look like without the distractions of cell phones, tablets, tv, computers, etc.
If your family struggles to find time to spend quality time together, here are some great ideas on how to connect better:
1) Informal “casual” dates – Whether you have one child or a few children, scheduling fun dates with your child one-on-one can be a really wonderful way to connect with minimal distractions (we recommend keeping your phone in your pocket or purse to minimize that distraction). You and your husband can switch off taking each child out and let your child pick where to go and what to do! Following your child’s lead can allow you to become more free and less stressed from the daily grind of managing your home and other responsibilities and will connect you and your child in such beautiful ways.
2) Read together before bed – Put away the tablet or book for reading and let your child pick out a good ol’ fashioned book or two to read in bed with you, you and his/her siblings, or you, your spouse, and your children. There is nothing like the touch and feel of a book with illustrations (or none if they’re older) to allow their imaginations to run wild.
3) Dinner together – Try to have dinner together every night or at least 4 nights a week if possible. This will allow time together as a family to connect after a long and busy day. Make a rule like no phones or distractions while enjoying dinner together. Putting phones and electronics on silent will help everyone stick to this rule!
4) Play – Play with your children. Learn more about what interests them and awakens their creativity and get involved in whatever it is with them! Don’t try to show them a better way to do it either. Children learn best through exploration, not by being told what to do or how to do it “correctly.”
5) Simply be available – When your child starts to have a tantrum or meltdown, or simply is pulling at you for your time, try not to get frustrated. Take it as a cry for help and attention and time together needed (unless a nap or food is in needed). Children thrive off of quality time with their parents and will make them feel loved, safe, protected, and will help them thrive.
Enjoy spending quality family time together!