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The Hood Magazine

Making Time for Quality Family Time

11/28/2016 12:30PM ● By Hood Magazine
By Brenda Mitzel, Sioux Falls Catholic School Director of Curriculum and Instruction

 




Most of us are caught up in a hectic whirlwind of activities, which start on Monday morning and end on Saturday night. Time slips by as we rush to complete urgent tasks like jobs, running the household, chauffeuring our children, appointments and commitments. We know that spending quality time together is the best way we have to show our families how important they are.



Family game night with board games or card games is a great way to have fun together, not to mention a chance to teach valuable social skills such as taking turns, sharing, waiting patiently. Games also teach cognitive skills such as counting, adding, sequencing, problem solving, hypothesizing and critical thinking. 



Quality time can include fixing things together like the broken kitchen faucet. To most kids this is a wonderful chance to see what’s under the kitchen sink and to understand how a faucet works. Fixing things together allows you to plan for the project and also gives you lots of time to interact.



Reading to your children or even reading books side by side is a great way to spend time together. Choosing books to read and discussing them are ways to share your values with your children.



Learn to do a hobby together or visit a new place each month such as a park, zoo, museum or library. You may want to complete a puzzle, paint a picture, or help with homework.  These are wonderful opportunities to talk and laugh with your child.



Make it a point to eat dinner as a family. This is a great time to ask about your child’s day – learning what brings joy and what may frustrate your child. Listen for their feelings. During meal time it is important to turn off television and phones to ensure quiet, uninterrupted time.



Let each child have equal time to talk without interruption.  If you’ve already made time to have dinner with your kids, why not spend another 30 minutes going on a walk with them after dinner. Talk about the changes you see and what your children observe around them as you go on these walks. The act of walking while you talk may actually make it easier for children to bring up difficult topics or problems they face because they have something else (like walking) to focus on when they bring these subjects up.



Time spent with your child gives you the opportunity to stimulate your child’s curiosity and interest by asking lots of why and how questions.  Let your child talk about him/her self and what they like to do, their feelings, concerns and how they feel about themselves.  Above all, relax and have fun.  Your children are a precious gift from God and they grow up all too fast.  Treasure this busy time.