We all want a happy family and to spend more time with them. I don't know about your family, but ours is extremely busy with work, other commitments, etc. Unfortunately our children sometimes feel the consequences of this by not spending time with their greatest role models, their parents. We have so much impact on our children and are their first role models. So what are we to do? We need to work, put food on the table. What is important is that when we are with our children to make sure we are completely focused on spending good quality time with them and developing a closer connection with them.
With that said, we should all look at our lives to figure out how to stop wasting time and be smarter in planning that time. Here is a list that may help free up some time and improve family time so you can spend more and better time with those you love the most, your kids, wife or husband.
- Make adjustments when you have to, you can’t be everywhere at once
- Plan ahead for holidays and weekends with activities and things to do. These are the most chaotic times, even if you do something spontaneous instead at least you had a plan ready! You can always use the plan for the following weekend
- The goal is to get it done, not make it perfect
- Keep it simple, give two choices instead of asking “what do you want ____”
- Set limits on things like television, video games, and phone chatter … for everyone in the household. Eliminates arguing and gets everyone doing other things
- Deal with things as they happen, (the mail came, sort it now instead of waiting until later – also eliminates clutter that you would have to clean up later)
- Don’t forget to consider your travel time, prep time, clean up time, waiting time
- Follow routines and schedules, such as getting up at the same time and leaving at the same time daily…create a pattern/routine get home, do your homework, 30 minutes to watch tv/play game/read, dinner, get a bath, quiet time, bedtime
- Get involved in a car pool to get kids where they need to go, school, soccer, baseball, football … sharing these tasks save you and someone else time and gas money!
- Give everyone their own alarm clock instead of being the “mom clock” and explain the consequences of not being up and ready to leave on time
- Minimize distractions (putting video games and televisions in cabinets that close does wonders in a household)
- If you work at home make a schedule and stick to it! From x:xx to x:xx you are “at work”
- Likewise for the family time, set aside 30 minutes each day that everyone is focused on doing something together … anything at all
- Keep a to-do list, things that need to be done, including time for yourself
- Set your priorities and adjust as needed, they can change monthly, weekly, daily
- Have a family/household meeting to communicate each others goals and needs for the current timeframe (once a month?)
- Bedtime, and not just for the kids, set one for yourself too so you can get a good nights sleep
- Make room in the family budget for small outings like a trip to the movies, or a day at the zoo once a month to get everyone out and about and having fun together
- Have a menu plan to save loads of kitchen and shopping time and leave more time for talking and enjoying the evening together
- Multi-task, put away the dishes while you’re on the phone, or dust the electronics while you’re waiting for a file to download
- Follow a daily pattern or routine so that everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect
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