Believe me, I know that finding enough time for work, errands, school and family can seem near impossible. Unfortunately, I also know that family time tends to fall at the bottom of the list. The other things on the list often have hard deadlines, so we meet them first and hope the rest falls into place. We let family time fill in the gaps. Making family time needs to move to the top of the list. Put it on the calendar if you have to.
- Whole Family Time – At least once a week. This can be a set-in-stone weekly dinner cooked together, a game night or a Sunday afternoon activity time.
- Couples Time – At least every other week. If you are parenting as a couple, find a time to focus on each other. It can be a movie night or dinner out, and it doesn’t have to be grand.
- Individual Pairs Time – At least once a month. Make time for each pair in the family to spend some time together. This can be at the playground or tossing a ball in the backyard. It can be watching a program together and talking about it or a trip to the grocery store if you are really focused on each other and communicating.
- Rituals and Routines – This can be a helpful approach to building in time. Plan a real playtime each morning, a time that you will put away the cell phone and turn off the TV and really play. Keep reading aloud as part of the bedtime routine long passed the age you thought they would listen.
Of course more is better, but these are minimum goals.