By now, we’ve heard all sorts of excuses from our family members. “Next week? I can’t! I have too much work to complete“, or “I can’t join you for dinner. My friends want to catch a movie” or “I’ll just send this email and then I can continue playing with my children“.
So, before we can jump into defining what exactly “quality family time” is, let’s start with what “quality family time” is not.
Quality Family Time is not…
- time spent with only 75 or 50 percent of the members of your family.
- time spent doing what only one person in the family wants to do every week.
- an unenjoyable experience.
- interrupted by text messages, phone calls, and emails.
- always something that costs money.
- always something that requires a lot of elaborate planning.
Now, let’s turn to what “Quality Family Time” is:
- time spent with every person in the family
- time spent doing what a different person in the family wants to do each week
- a time free of outside interruptions
- affordable, free and occasionally a splurge, if financially possible
- perhaps occasionally planned out in detail, but usually just a relaxed and informal experience
Set aside one night a week or a couple of months in which you spend time together as an entire family. You might play games, have a conversation about where you want to go on vacation as a family, go for a theatre play, movie or a sports game, or otherwise spend time together.
You don’t have to be doing something for your time together to count as “quality family time.” You might all be sitting in the same room together and each person is doing something different. The interaction and quality time together could just be that you’re all in the same room and family members are talking to one another from time to time.
Don’t get caught up in making family time perfect. Just let it happen. Focus on the fun and the interaction instead. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, rejoice in it and look forward to the next time it occurs.
This isn’t to say that you should just wait for family time to spontaneously happen. You’ll still need to plan it out. Intentionally planning family time is important. If you don’t, it probably won’t ever occur because everyone will get too busy with their own lives to stop and take an active interest in the lives of the other family members.
Christmas is just round the corner! Remember to spend good quality family time with your family this festive season!
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