The following is a guest post from momAgendaCOMM blogger Leticia Barr.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” ~Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Busy parents know that indeed, life does move fast. Minutes, hours, days, weeks, and months pass us by quickly. While complete strangers may have told us that our kids grow up fast and to enjoy them, we often don’t realize exactly how true this is until years into parenting.
Creating quality family time can be one of the biggest challenges for busy parents but when it is made a priority, spending time together is healthy. Before I induce parental guilt about not spending enough quality time with your children, seizing upon even the smallest moments in time strengthens bonds by forging an emotional connection that lasts a lifetime. Letting go of adult life and finding your inner child can also serve as a huge stress reliever!
Here are five ways to create quality family time on a busy schedule:
- Cherish the smallest moments. A moment is gone in a flash. Be cognizant of those tender, fleeting moments and never give up the opportunity for another hug or kiss.
- Converse in the car. As parents, we spend lots of time in the car shuttling kids from activity to activity. Whether it is five minutes or thirty minutes, use those periods of time to connect through conversation. Check in about how the day is going, talk about friends, and really listen. At the same time, be honest and share how your day is going. Honest conversations that cover the good and bad open the lines of communication.
- Put down the Smartphone. These days our Smartphones are our lifelines to friends via social networks, texts and work but enough is enough. By putting down the phone and declaring a Smartphone free zone, you’re modeling digital expectations for your family by showing them that they are your priority.
- Make a date over meals. Endless activities, sports practice and games, along with weekend birthday parties can make it hard to connect on a regular basis. Set aside one meal a week where everyone will be home and sit down together to talk before running off in separate directions again.
- Declare a mental health day. When the going gets tough, clear the schedule and declare a mental health day to spend some quality time together doing the things you love but never seem to have time to do with each other. Catch a movie, go out to lunch, watch TV together, go to a sporting event…the possibilities are endless! The action of taking time out of your busy schedule to spend quality time together speaks volumes and sometimes it can be nice to take a break from life as we know it.