It’s a common concern for children: They don’t get enough time with their parents. While parents think that they have to do something grand to make together-time special, kids are happy with any amount of time, whether it’s super exciting or not. They crave a connection and not some new way to be excited.
The infamous Sunday morning pancake routine is a wonderful way to get everyone in the kitchen to pitch in for breakfast. Let everyone stay in their pajamas, but they must contribute in some way. This isn’t difficult for small children, and they love the idea of adding yummy treats to pancakes. For instance, fill small bowls with walnuts, sliced bananas, blueberries, strawberries and other toppings. Have an older child or parent make sausages or bacon for protein. Top pancakes with syrup and whipped cream.
Dinner time can be hectic. It’s hard to sit down with the rest of the family during the day because everyone is rushing off in the morning, and everyone is away for lunch because of work and school. However, families can and should make time for dinner. It’s another time that everyone can pitch in to make it, or each night of the week can be designated to a certain person. Have everyone sit at the kitchen table together to eat. Create the right setting to eat. Turn off the TV, and don’t have any other distractions, such as cell phones. Ask each family member how their day was. Have everyone pitch in to clean up after dinner, and enjoy some nighttime family activities.
Make a fire pit somewhere in the yard. This can be done by digging a hole in the ground and surrounding it with brick or natural elements like flagstone or sandstone. Use an existing grill grid or make one out of rebar. Cook with charcoal or wood. Make corn, steaks, hot dogs and whatever else desired. Keep the fire going after everything is cooked. Sit by the fire, make s’mores, and share stories while sitting around the fire. For extra fun, pitch a tent or make one by digging a hole to place a post in, and drape a tarp over it. Everyone in the family will have a fun and relaxing evening.
Share the Housework
Super moms and dads try to do it all, but that leaves very little time for the family. Getting everyone involved in cleaning up helps family members to spend time together in cleaning up, but it also speeds up the process, everyone is done at the same time, and it teaches little ones important life skills. Because cleaning becomes a quicker process, everyone is available to do something fun as well. Create a daily “to do” list based upon what needs to be done throughout the week. Divide it up. Be sure to not delegate the same tasks every day to the same people; otherwise, they’ll quickly get bored and resentful.
Activities are fun, but there is fun in making plans as well. Before each month, talk about fun things to do. Create a budget for monthly fun and weekly fun. Ask family members to pick something big to do together, like looking for hotels in Crystal City VA, staying there and sightseeing. Choose weekly activities as well. If a family doesn’t have a huge budget, camping out, going on a picnic and other similar activities offer a lot of fun without having to spend a lot of money. When it’s decided which activities will be done, put them on the calendar. Take into consideration what each family member is suggesting—even if it’s a three-year-old’s suggestion to eat ice cream all day. The family can still go out for ice cream or make banana splits at home.
We can’t add hours to the day, but we can take time together where we normally would not. Since parents and kids can’t go to work and school together, there are plenty of other times outside of work and school that can be spent together, and that’s what matters.