The beginning of a new academic year always brings its challenges, but we don’t need to sacrifice family time when schedules get busy! Here are several ways to help prioritize family time and strengthen relationships when the school year starts and schedules change.
Family Breakfast/Dinner - Family meals are important for sharing information about each others’ days and any updates. Dinner is traditionally shared as a family, but if work schedules don’t allow for a meal in the evening, that doesn’t mean you can’t share one at all! Having breakfast together can be another unique way to spend time together. And who doesn’t love breakfast food?
One-On-One Chats - Whether you’re in the car or at home, having one-on-one conversations with your children helps them to feel cared for, respected, and that what happens in their day matters. Children tend to have one-word responses when asked about their lives, but asking unique questions and waiting for them to answer shows them that what is done in their day is important. Chats get easier and relationships grow when there is consistency and patience in having these conversations.
Planned Activity on Weekends - A movie night, a day at the park, a trip to the hardware store! It is easy to plan little activities to share with your family on the weekends. Activities don’t need to be elaborate or expensive, but what is memorable are those little moments shared with parents.
Bedtime Stories - Reading bedtime stories is a cherished tradition amongst many families. Switch up the routine with sharing family stories about grandparents or siblings! If you have older children, you can let them read to the little ones.
By being intentional about maintaining communication with children and sharing moments of joy throughout the week, family time strengthens relationships and is a hallmark for every childhood.