Time, or lack of time, is definitely one common challenge that families face these days. With an increase in demands at school for the children and ever-increasing commitments at work for parents, families are finding it tough to spend quality and quantity time with each other.
However, research has shown that spending time with family is extremely beneficial for children. It helps them feel important and loved, gives them an opportunity to voice their thoughts and feelings, and develop a stronger bond with their parents. It also allows parents to observe and learn more about their children to better guide them.
How to make it happen
The first and most important step to making time for your children is to plan it in your schedule. It is easy to get caught up with life’s demands – there will always be an endless pile of laundry to clear or homework to complete.
Family time won’t happen automatically – you have to make it happen. Schedule a specific date and time, preferably at least once a month, where you gather your family for a special outing or mealtime.
After pinning down a date, how can parents make full use of the time they have together as a family, no matter how short? The key might be in keeping the following four qualities in mind: connectivity, simplicity, creativity and interactivity.
Simply turning off mobile devices during family time can do wonders. It may be tempting for us to try and get a message or an email out there. However, this will make you lose focus and affect the quality of time spent together. Choose to give your children your undivided attention and be intentional when it comes to connecting with them.
Children don’t need big events, special outings or expensive adventures. While these extra efforts would be appreciated, the simple investment of engaging them in whatever interests them is what they truly desire – whether it is playing a board game, sitting on a swing, hitting a ball, or just wrestling on the floor.
Choose active over passive activities. Instead of watching television, aim for interactive activities such as reading together, cycling at the park or simply sitting and talking.
While the weekend may not be long enough for families to get away for a family holiday, parents can think out of the box to make the most of the time they have with their kids! One idea that may be fun without the need to travel out of the country is to imagine being tourists in Singapore. You can do things that are usually done on a trip: Go for a swim, take a hike, visit places of interest, eat at new places and try new food.
With some intentional planning and creativity, spending quality time with your children on a regular basis can become a reality, and they will surely benefit from it.
Written by Samantha Chin.
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