Do you feel like you are spending more time with your immediate family during the past year? If so, you’re not alone before COVID-19 studies determined that families only spent up to 40-minutes a day together.
Now more people work from home, either full or part-time, and family togetherness is increasing. Now is the opportunity you’ve been seeking to become more intentional about quality family time.
Studies are showing that small gestures can make a big difference. By sprinkling a few minutes of togetherness throughout the day, you can strengthen family bonds. Nurture the important relationships in your life and increase the quality of time you spend together.
Quality Time with Your Children
Kids consume a lot of time, one way or another. If you spend time today with proactive parenting, your children are more likely to become resilient and make wise choices.
Use these strategies:
- Pay attention. When you give children your undivided attention, you boost their self-esteem and social skills. Listen to what they are saying, show enthusiasm for the wins (big or small), ask them what they could have done differently to turn their losses around next time.
- Eat together. Whether you share family meals for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, it’s a good time to be together. You can learn how to cook new meals together, clean up in pairs to provide rotating one-to-one time, linger around the table, or schedule activities afterward.
- Play and dance. We have become a society of structured play and activities, which has left little time for independent play and creativity. Leave time in your schedules for laughter and fun.
- Have deep conversations. Use tv shows, movies, and the news as prompts to discuss specific situations and how your child would respond or react. Talking about important issues together before they occur may enable your child to confide in you when they’re struggling. When you have open discussions with your children, you earn their trust.
- Go on vacation. Use your personal and vacation time to experience something new together. Family outings and seeing or doing something for the first time can create memories that last a lifetime. And being away from home, you may be able to rest, relax, and get away from your to-do list.
Quality Time with Your Partner
Has the romance left your relationship? Do you feel like your partner has become more of a roommate? The honeymoon phase may not last forever, but you can revitalize your relationship. Apply the same open communication skills that you use with other family and friends that you do not see every day – by asking genuine questions and hearing the answers.
Try these approaches:
- Schedule date nights. Focus on being a couple and aim for at least one date night a month. It’s okay to stay home or take long walks, as long as you do it together and have more fun than cleaning your house or working on your taxes.
- Find a joint project. Similar to when you first got together, share interests and activities that you both enjoy. Team up to learn a new sport, work on a home improvement project, or take trips to exciting places.
- Support each other. Everyday thoughtfulness and kindness can be as romantic as love letters and flowers or as simple as a cup of coffee when they’re working from home. You can send them an encouraging text message during a difficult day or complete one of their household tasks.
Quality Time with Yourself
Alone time is important too. Spending time on your relationship with yourself. Know what makes you happy and honor your needs. Taking care of yourself increases your capacity to care for those you love.
Keep these tips in mind:
- Work out. Taking care of your body and having an active lifestyle is essential for your wellbeing. You’ll also be serving as a positive role model for your kids.
- Eat healthy. Eat nutritious meals and snacks. Prepare home-cooked food with your family and give your kids age-appropriate kitchen tasks. When children pitch in it will help them form wholesome eating habits.
- Sleep well. Aim for the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep. When you’re well-rested, you’ll have more energy, more patience, and be a more effective parent.
With some planning and effort, you can share more quality time with the ones you love. When you improve your communication and strengthen your connections with your family, you will bring more happiness and stability into your life and create a brighter future for your children.
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