Parents and their children are spending less time interacting with each other. As a result, many children are getting less personal love and attention than their parents did. American Demographics reported that parents today spend roughly 40 percent less time with their children than parents did a generation ago.
1. Eat together and listen to each other.
Most children today don’t know the meaning of family dinnertime. Yet the communication and unity built in this setting are integral to healthy family life. Sharing a meal together allows the opportunity to talk about each other’s lives. This is a time for parents to listen as well as to give advice and encouragement. Attentive listening conveys that you are interested in one another. It also imparts a sense of worth and helps develop trust.
2. Read often.
Research indicates that reading to your children cultivates an interest in knowledge and stimulates language development. It also increases their attention spans and helps them become more curious. Look for books your child would enjoy reading. After reading, ask questions about the content.
3. Do chores together.
Part of what goes on in the home is the development of teamwork. Functional family life depends on the contribution of everyone. Assigning chores is the most productive way of teaching responsibility and accountability to your children. Doing chores with your child will help foster good communication skills.
4. Help with schoolwork.
Spend quality time with children by helping with their schoolwork. A parent’s eagerness to help will cause a child to become more interested in school, improving his or her grades. Regular trips to the library for school projects are inexpensive and enjoyable for spending time with children. Helping should begin with an understanding that children are responsible for homework. Parents are there to help their children get organized and to encourage them when they get stuck.
5. Start a hobby or project.
Choose a fun activity your child is interested in. Activities like cooking, crafts, fishing, or biking will make great hobbies that can open the door to exciting family time. Once a child learns a new recipe or is able to cast a lure accurately, let him or her take the lead with your supervision.
6. Play games.
New technology has made video games more prevalent. Play with them, but also spark an interest in board games or card games. This will give you additional time to talk and nurture the relationship.
7. Plan a family outing.
Sometimes getting out of the house is important. Get in the car and go for a drive. Prepare a picnic lunch and visit a local park. Take time to play catch or ride a bike. A stroll in the woods will help you interact. Also, a visit to the zoo or museum may spark a child’s enthusiasm and lead to good discussions.
8. Encourage athletic activities.
Playing sports not only strengthens the body but also builds character and determination. Finding time for athletic events is important for a child’s emotional and physical development. This is also a great opportunity for a family to interact.
9. Create a “family time” calendar.
Since many parents have hectic schedules, time with children often becomes a low priority. Post a calendar on the refrigerator and help your children pencil in special events. Knowing in advance when you’re going to meet may help by giving you more time to think of creative activities. Commit to keeping this schedule free from interruptions.
10. Pray together and attend worship.
Nothing is more special than taking a few minutes each day to pray with a child before bedtime.Nothing is more special than taking a few minutes each day to pray with a child before bedtime. By explaining the purpose behind prayer, children will learn the importance of faith as the foundation for the family. Also, when parents go to religious services, they instill in their children a reverence for God. Churches can also offer invaluable support to families.
Sound off: What are your favorite family time activities?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What are some ways we could spend more time together as a family?”