Now that my kids are a little older, (7,11 and 13), they are busy with social lives and activities. Our lives can be al little crazy. During certain seasons (read sports) we have to MAKE time for family. So how do we make family a priority?
- SET LIMITS – We set limits on our children’s activities. Now we want our children to be well rounded, and active in their communities,churches and schools, but within limits. We do live out in the country and not in town so the more traveling we have to do the less time we get to be together. Each child is permitted one activity outside of school. Pumpkin plays soccer and Peanut is on the local gymnastics team. Pi runs road races. My children are allowed to be as active as they want in school activities that take place during school time. For example, student council. They are expected to be active somehow at church too., Pi helps her Dad with his 3rd grade Sunday School class and both Pi, and Peanut are altar servers.
- LIMIT TIME AWAY FROM HOME – Our children are in school from 8-4 with a rigorous school schedule. As kids they need some down time. Time to play and be kids, Free Play time, unconstructed play time. Because of this long school schedule I try to build in AT HOME nights to our family schedule. These are nights that no-one has any activities and everyone stays home. Some families may do a family game night on these nights. Sometimes, I just prefer to take everyone outside and let them play with what we have here.
- SCHEDULE FAMILY TIME - Take time once a month, or once a week and go over you calendar, your obligations. Carve out some time to be together as a family. Maybe it is a weekend trip. Maybe it is just go to a new playground near by, or a trip to a museum together. Take a family hike or have a family picnic. Have movie night at home if it is a really hectic week and everyone is plain tired. If you can’t devote a whole weekend or day together don’t worry, just set aside an afternoon. I try to set aside one Saturday a month that is family day. We manage other days too.
- PLAN IT – Make sure you plan something fun to do as a family. While Mom might want to get the garage cleaned out and Dad may think a trip to the hardware store is fun, the kids may have other ideas. Take everyone out for a bike ride, buy a slushie.
- TRY SOMETHING NEW AS A FAMILY . Try a new restaurant, check out a part of town that you don’t normally go to. Or take a drive to a little town out in the country and explore. If you have never gone to a farmer’s market make it a family trip. There is usually something to do there for the kids, and many vendors give out free samples.
I am linking up at Simple Lives Thursday