I used to feel so disappointed when I would plan to spend time doing something “fun” with my kids and it didn’t work out. A feeling of guilt would come over me every time we were not able to sit down for dinner as a family. I felt like I was failing at creating the perfect family environment, recalling my own childhood memories as the standard for the kind of Mother I needed to be. I had no choice however, but to get over those feelings and find creative ways to carve out much needed family time. Here are two quick and easy tips for getting over the hurdle.
Some of the best memories are created from events that are unplanned.
Be Spontaneous! Getting the family together for a planned event or excursion may be a challenge, learn how to maximize every opportunity to create lasting memories. A few evenings ago, I bought a piece of watermelon on the way home from work. As I was about to cut a piece for myself, my daughter walked into the kitchen and asked if she could have a slice, then came my husband, he took his piece, my step son was not too far behind. No sooner than I gave him his share did my toddler come running in, at this point we were all standing in the kitchen eating watermelon and sharing jokes. We had just created one of the most perfect moments without even thinking about it.
Unplug and Connect
Technology has made it so easy for people to connect with each other and simultaneously distances us from one another. Have you ever noticed that you are in the same space as your spouse/children and both of you are on a device, with zero verbal communication for hours at a time? It is critical that we carve out time to disconnect from the virtual world and spend quality time with our families. Your children will remember and cherish the moments you share with them for the rest of their lives. It is also important to connect with our children to help them maintain good mental health.
Over the past few weeks I have read several articles about the impact of access to technology on the development of our children. Occupational therapist, Victoria Prooday in a May 2017 blog post, stated that “children are being served with digitally distracted parents” and combined with several other factors, the result is alarming increases in the number of children being diagnosed with mental illnesses. She offers several solutions including; “being emotionally available to connect with your kids and teaching them self-regulation and social skills.” I like this recommendation because I have always believed that we need to help our children develop the ability to function independent of us. This is especially important as the challenges of navigating life in America often prevents us from being with our them as much as we would like to. In addition, they need to be taught social skills that will enable them to have positive interactions with individuals at various levels in society.
How are you making time for your family?