March 20, 2017

Creating quality time together

Friday and Sunday evenings are often dedicated to family time in our household. Other days, we are pulled apart by agendas, homework, meetings, flights, sports, and other weekday activities; all of which is par for the course in most families. While we still have dinner together most weeknights, we don’t have the opportunity to spend too much quality time together outside of that meal. Because I get antsy for time with my family, I try to find smaller opportunities to sneak time in together. I don’t need to preach what you already know: a little time goes a long way. Increments of time are little golden nuggets, valuable no matter how small. Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 10.51.57 PM

Here are some of the ways how we create family time in the Bahr household:

Work alongside one another

In fact, I am writing this as my son sits next to me doing his homework. Not a writer or nothing to write? Then pay bills, answer emails, or look up that unanswered question on Google. You can both work to keep one another on track while enjoying time together. Sometimes it’s just a matter of being in the same space together.

Get cooking

After a week of trying to prepare meals quickly, enjoy slowing down on Friday evenings while involving your kids in the meal prep. I know I appreciate help in the kitchen when we can afford the time and my kids enjoy learning a new recipe.

Get outdoors

Whether it’s spending time in the backyard, going for a bike ride, or gathering up ambition and a backpack to go on a hike, the outdoors is bonding. Actually, I think this is one of the most impactful activities a family can do together. The fresh air brings renewal to families.

Get in the car

I laugh a little as I write this. While jumping in the car and running to the grocery store and the like isn’t the most opportune bonding experience, it is nothing to snark at. I have dedicated an entire post to the deep conversations that are often had while wearing seat belts. Throw in a smoothie and they will feel extra special.

Do chores

While your kids may resist this one, both you and they will reap the benefits. As unglamorous as it sounds, I have the kids clean the floors with me. While teaching them that it’s not just our job to keep the house clean, we talk and get silly in the process. The chore actually becomes fun. And the sincere praise at the end of any task builds them up in the process.

Say no

When individual family members learn to say no to invitations and obligations, you find yourselves back together. Saying yes often pulls you in opposite directions and adds stress. We try to say yes to more invitations that involve all of us as a family. Ultimately, it’s about finding a healthy balance.

At the end of the day, time in a child’s heart often equates to love. We want our children to receive strong messages of love, to know that we value their involvement, and to help manage their priorities and expectations. While this list is far from comprehensive (I am trying to keep it short and to the point), it gets me thinking about what else we can add to the mix. What does your family do each week to carve out time together? Feel free to share in the comments below!

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