Making Time for Family Time
Spending time together as a family isn’t something that “just happens.” If you want to spend quality time with your family on a regular basis, you’ll have to be intentional about it and put effort into making it happen. Many families have come up with creative ways to spend time together--try several different ways to make time for family time and see which works best for your family. Make sure to include all family members in the decision-making process, so that everyone is interested.
Getting together for dinner is almost impossible for my family--what else can I do?Instead of worrying about how to get your family together for dinner, try to find something that works for your situation. See if you can get everyone together for breakfast once or twice a week. If you work nights, perhaps you can plan a lunch together. Or go out to dinner instead of staying home. If something isn’t working for your family, try something new to shake things up. Every family has different needs and schedules; keep trying new things until you figure out what works for yours.
My teenager would much rather spend time with his friends than our family.This is common for many teens (and tweens, as well). One of the methods you can use for getting your teenager more interested in spending time with your family is to allow him to invite a friend to your family gathering or vacation. Make sure he knows that he’s still expected to participate as part of the family, but that the family can be extended to include his friend. (Obviously, there are some situations in which inviting a friend wouldn’t be appropriate, so don’t make this offer on those occasions.) Getting to know your child's friends >
How can I make my family vacations more relaxing, instead of full of arguments?Family vacations can be great opportunities for becoming closer as a family, but they also require some effort to keep running smoothly. You may find it helpful to adjust your thinking about family vacations. These are times when you may need to work a bit to bring the family together, rather than simply relaxing. When you need to unwind, try to take time by yourself rather than with your family. Use some of the following strategies for making sure that all members of your family enjoy your vacation.
- Ask: What's our vacation goal? Relaxing and being together? Adventure?
- Ask: Should this be a family service trip?
- Get everyone's input! Kids can help with vacation budget to learn about money management.
- Consider a "staycation": Save money and explore local treasures!
- If budget allows, invite a friend along for the older kids.
Whether you're going on vacation together or just sitting down for a meal, enjoy the time you spend with your family. Even if your schedules are varied, set some time aside regularly for spending time together--not only will it help keep your family close, but you may also find that it's a great stress reliever!
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