Modern life is busy. It’s tremendously busy. If you’re not careful, that “work-life balance” you hear so much about is almost guaranteed to tip in favor of work. And, while you need to keep food on the table, life is about a lot more than your job.
Today’s kids are just as busy as adults. They’ve got commitments on top of commitments. There are sports, choir or band events, social gatherings, after-school clubs, tutoring, lessons, homework and, of course, friend time.
So, how do you help make family time special even when everyone is busy? Here are five ways to start:
- Decide that family time is a priority. Talk with your family. Let them know you value your time together and ask for a commitment from everyone to participate in family time whenever they can.
- Be willing to change. If you want to create a home life that includes family time, you need to do a lot of prioritizing. Chances are that you and every member of your household has commitments that may need to be challenged. You might need to rearrange your schedule or encourage your children to pare down the number of activities they’re involved in. Everyone has to be flexible to make it work.
- Eat together. Make the decision, as a family, that you will enjoy a family meal each evening at least four nights out of seven – more often if possible. Clear the bills off the dining room table, turn off the television, and eat together. You don’t need to prepare a feast in order to have dinner together; you can even do it over pizza delivery. The important thing is that everyone takes some time to interact with one another and share a little bit about what’s going on in their lives.
- Develop family rituals. A popular option is family game night. Have one night a week where everyone puts their cell phones in a basket on the counter, turn off the TV, and break out a board game. You might instead choose to bake a special dish and have the kids help. Create holiday and birthday traditions that your family can enjoy.