10 ways to increase family time

Your Family
10 ways to increase family time

As schedules get busy, “family time” tends to dwindle and often leaves parents asking themselves how they can increase togetherness while maintaining individual interests. Here are a few tips on increasing family time so that everyone’s interests are incorporated and appreciated.

  1. Create a calendar.  Find days when you can schedule an activity. Chances are better that everyone will be ready to spend time together if it is written down and planned.
  2. Rotate activities. Place various activities from all family members in a jar and on every scheduled family night, pick one to try. This creates opportunity for everyone’s interests to be explored.
  3. Increase participation. If one parent always makes dinner and the other supervises homework, try to swap tasks and share responsibility. If possible, get the kids involved in creative ways to help… maybe teaching them to measure ingredients in the kitchen will help with math skills!
  4. Family Task Time. Teamwork is a great way to build relationships, utilize everyone’s strengths and spend time together. Anything from cleaning the garage to doing laundry can increase family participation and togetherness. Add some music for simultaneous stress relief!
  5. Say “no” to screens. The more time family members spend looking at screens, the less time they are spending looking at each other. Simply putting away electronic devices can increase motivation to spend time together reading, doing crafts or talking.
  6. Help others. Sign up to volunteer at a local food bank, animal shelter or hospital. Generosity towards others can help highlight strengths in your own family and create more meaningful bonds among members. As an added bonus, volunteering is free!
  7. Go outside. Doing activities outside creates new opportunities to showcase skills and interests of everyone in the family; activities can be anything from gardening to playing a game. Get creative with seasonal options like a leaf pile competition for fall or pillow case races in the summer!
  8. Double Duty Dinner. Use dinner time to spark creative conversations instead of discussing problems or concerns. Family members can take turns asking imaginative questions, such as each other’s fantasy vacations or dream jobs. Use the jar idea from Idea #2 and everyone can contribute questions to be picked at random!
  9. Take turns teaching. Since everyone has different strengths, sharing skills or talents can build positive connections and help family members relate better to one another. Whether you are a great cook or can fold paper airplanes, teaching your skills is a great way to spend time as a family and have fun learning.
  10. Give yourselves a break. Even planning to spend time together can be stressful, so if an evening calls for popcorn and a movie, it’s ok to spend time on the couch, on the floor or even in a fort!  As long as the family is together, relaxing can be a great way to bond.