Most people like the idea of spending more quality time with the family, but if you’re busy with work and household responsibilities, it’s hard to make that time – and even harder to come up with fun ideas to try. Fortunately, if you’re willing to put in a bit of effort, there’s no shortage of ways that you can spend quality time with your family.
What Is “Quality Time?”
First, what do we mean by “quality time?” Doesn’t hanging out in the living room watching TV count as spending time together?
Quality time with the family is:
- Undistracted. Instead of distracting yourselves with entertainment or getting absorbed in your smartphones, you’ll be interacting with each other.
- Engaging. There’s some kind of activity or environment that keeps you all interested and intrigued.
- Unstructured. There’s at least some flexibility in how you spend your time; you’re not driven to achieve a certain end goal other than spending time together.
- Novel. You’re doing something interesting and original – something you don’t get to do on a daily basis.
Ideas for Spending More Time With Your Family
Try these ideas for spending more quality time with your family:
- Sit down for dinner. One of the easiest ways to spend more time with the family is to sit down to eat dinner together. If you can’t do this every night of the week due to work schedules and extracurricular activities, make sure you can have dinner together at least one night per week. Set a strict time, serve the food “family style,” and talk about what’s going on in your lives.
- Get a boat. If you live near the water, consider getting a boat. Once acquired, you can use the boat for a number of hobbies and activities, including fishing, snorkeling, and even wakeboarding – and you can take the boat on family holidays for some rest and relaxation. It’s a sizable investment compared to some of the other options on this list, but it offers nearly unlimited potential activities and adventures.
- Pick up a family hobby. You could also consider picking up some kind of family-centric hobby. For example, you could all take up biking and explore local trails together – or you could learn more about birds and go bird watching in a local park. There are literally thousands of potential options here, so try to choose something that everyone in the family can enjoy together, then practice it regularly.
- Choose an “adventure day.” Choose a day of the week, or a day of the month, that qualifies as an “adventure day,” where you and the family try something new. It could be something simple, like a new restaurant, or something adventurous and exciting, like rock climbing. The point is to use this day to break out of your comfort zones together and experiment with something more stimulating.
- Be open to a staycation. While taking your family on a vacation can be exhilarating and expose you to new environments and new cultures, there’s also a lot of value to find in your own backyard. Consider exploring your city (and state) in a modified kind of staycation. What parks, museums, restaurants, and other attractions have you never tried together?
- Rotate selections. If you’re struggling to come up with new ideas or if you can’t agree on something as a family, consider rotating selections. When it comes time to have an adventure day, designate a person to choose the activity for the entire family, and rotate that person regularly; for example, Dad can choose the first activity, Mom can choose the second, and Daughter can choose the third. It’s a way to keep everyone involved and work in activities that might otherwise get neglected.
- Gamify chores. You have to do chores anyway, so consider bonding over them by gamifying them. For example, you can have a race to see who can fold laundry the quickest or use a point system to compete in house cleaning activities.
- Leave messages when busy. Sometimes, even the closest families get busy and struggle to find time to spend with each other. If and when this happens, stay in touch by leaving messages; you can put a note in your kid’s lunch or write a note to your spouse on a whiteboard in the kitchen. It can make a big difference in staying connected.
Of course, no matter what, you’re going to need to work to free up the time necessary to spend with your family. That could mean sacrificing one of your personal hobbies, taking more time off work, creating a flexible schedule for yourself, or even changing jobs. These may be hard or strenuous, but if family is your number one priority, you’ll find a way to make it work.