We all know how important it is to make time in our busy lives for ourselves and our partners, but what about our kids? As a stay-at-home Mom, I often have to remind myself that I need to make time for my daughter. Granted, I am at home with her all day, but that doesn’t mean that I am spending every minute of every day with her. For example, as I type, she is playing with her new Barbie dollhouse, while I type away on the couch. As she gets older, she is much more content playing on her own…which makes my job to spend time with her even more difficult.
One way that my family has worked family time into our routine is with family breakfasts on the weekends. We make a point to have the three of us sit together and talk about our week, weekend plans, and just general family “stuff”. We also take this time to chat with family members on Skype and plan meals for the week. Our breakfasts aren’t super fancy, eggs and toast, pancakes and bacon, or cereal and fruit…just something hearty to start the day. For us, this has been great, and we hope to continue it long after Hannah is in school and rushing off to all sorts of activities.
Another activity that we did for a while and need to get back on track with is our version of “Turn off the TV night”. All too often, we sit and watch TV at night and don’t have any real conversation. For Christmas, Hannah received some great board and card games, so hopefully we can re-work this into our weekly routine. Some of our favourite games are: Candy Land, Go Fish, Chutes and Ladders, and our newest family favourite, The Cat in the Hat: I Can Do That. This is a great game to get the family off the couch and moving!
The first step to making family time is to identify the needs of your family. For some, it is simply making time to talk, for others, it is to get up and get moving. One site that helps offer ideas for ways to get more involved with your family is CBC’s Live Right Now Challenge. Though it is based around healthy living and weight loss, there are a lot of ideas for ways to spend time together as well. I recently signed my family up for the challenge, and I can’t wait to start working the activities, recipes and other ideas into our routine.
Once you’ve identified your needs…stick with it! It won’t be much longer before our children will be grown up and rushing from school, to sports practice, to time out with friends. Teaching little ones the importance of spending time together will not only help to enrich everyone’s lives now, but will build a strong family bond for the future.
I’d love to hear your ideas for family time! Please feel free to post ideas and suggestions in the comment section!!
Sharon is a New England girl who never imagined that she’d find herself living in Canada. She has a wonderful husband and together they created a Diva Monster. Follow her on her crazy journeys at Nanas Button Jar!!