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Making Time for Quality Time

3 min read

Ever feel like you’re spending time for your kids — caring for them, giving them rides, cleaning up after them — but you’re not spending time with them? That’s pretty normal, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Parents of children age 6-12 spend an average of 54 minutes a day actively taking care of their children, but only about 10 minutes playing or reading with them (Source: BLS.gov).

And now with school and activities back in full swing, plus holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving around the corner, everyone has a full schedule and free time is hard to come by. Let’s talk about a few ways we can spend more time with the people we love 5 to 15 minutes at a time.

1. Unwind each day

Take 5 minutes each evening to get together and talk about the day. You could talk to kids as you tuck them into bed at night or sit down for an after-school snack (who doesn’t love snacks?). And if you’re looking for more than one-word answers, try conversation starters like “What was the best thing that happened today?” or “What are you excited for right now?” instead of the usual “How was your day?” or “What did you do at school today?”

2. Cook and eat together as a family

This could take more than 15 minutes, but since you’re already prepping dinner and eating, you don’t have to carve out extra time. Plus, you get helpers in the kitchen and kids are more likely to eat meals when they’re involved in the preparation process.

3. Get crafty with seasonal activities

Who doesn’t love an excuse to make something? Simple crafts can take just a few minutes. Take a break from screens and get busy with Halloween decorations or painting tree ornaments. Check out this Halloween craft idea here https://www.gluedtomycraftsblog.com/2015/08/tissue-paper-black-cat-kid-craft.html

4. Take walks

In the mood for a good conversation? A walk to school, to the store or just around your neighborhood — as long as it’s safe and reasonable — is the perfect time to catch up.

5. Collaborate on home projects

There’s always something that needs fixing, cleaning or reorganizing. Knock some items off your to-do list with your family’s help and teach some valuable skills in the process.

6. Hold a five-minute dance party

Some days, you just want to let loose. Take turns picking the song and dance like no one (outside your family) is watching!

7. Start a puzzle

If you don’t want to commit anyone’s time, that’s okay! One fun way to get the family involved is working on a difficult jigsaw puzzle over the course of a week or two. Start the puzzle, leave it on a table or countertop and let everyone play when they want. You’re working together even when you’re not together!

There are plenty of ways to make time with your family count, but the most important thing is that you’re making time for each other.

No matter how you choose to bond with your loved ones, here are some recommendations to get the most quality out of your family time:

  • Respect each other’s time

You’re busy. Your kids are busy, especially if they’re older and have activities and homework that go into the evening. Make sure you’re not making unreasonable demands on anyone’s time.

  • Keep it consistent

Catching up for just a few minutes each day goes a long way. The important thing is that you’re making time for one another on a regular basis.

  • Always be present

You have a lot on your mind, but in the brief time you’re spending with loved ones, put the distractions aside and get back to it later. If it helps, have everyone silence their devices and put them in a basket.

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