When you get the time to spend together as a family, you want to make the most of it. Build connections, strengthen bonds, and make memories with the following tips for maximizing family time.
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As I write this, we’re currently in the thick of the holiday season, during which (among other things), we see an extra focus on family. And the winter months that follow often bring more opportunities for family time, as we hole up together inside our warm, cozy homes. As we take advantage of these special seasons, we want that time to be as meaningful as possible.
Other times of the year, however, are less conducive to family time. Between work schedules and extracurricular activities, making quality time together a reality can be a challenge. These seasons require intentional planning and a good dose of creativity.
Whether you’re in a feast or famine season of time together, you want to make the most of it. Use the tips below to maximize your family time.
Why Family Time Is Important
First, let’s briefly talk about why family time is so important. Here are just a few reasons to prioritize time together as a family:
- Strengthens family bonds
- Fosters intimacy between family members
- Improves communication skills
- Provides opportunities to teach, train, and model behaviors
- Builds and reinforces family culture
- Helps build confidence and self-esteem
- Makes lasting memories
5 Ways to Maximize Your Family Time
Now that we know why family time is so important, let’s talk about how to get the most out of it. Whether opportunities are scarce or abundant, here are 5 ways to maximize your family time:
1. Give it your full focus
When it’s family time, make it 100% family time. Gather everyone in the same space, put away devices and distractions, and give each other your full focus. Even if you’re watching a show or movie together, put away everything else and enjoy what you’re watching together. (This is something I need to work on!) Wherever you are and in whatever you’re doing, be fully present.
I have not read this book on technology & family yet, but it comes highly recommended by a source I trust!
2. Foster communication
While we LOVE a good family movie night, it’s good to mix those up with activities that encourage conversation. Communication nurtures connection and builds intimacy, and is key to healthy family relationships. Family dinners, walks, drives, and game nights are all simple ways to create opportunities to talk (and listen!) to each other.
Conversation starter ideas:
- What has been the best part of your week so far? What made it so good?
- What has been the worst part of your week so far? What made it so bad?
- Have you been upset about anything lately? How did you handle it?
- What is one thing you’ve learned this week?
- How has God helped you this week?
Here is a helpful article with tips for improving family communication.
3. Be intentional… but flexible
Quality time together can be hard to come by, so be intentional about making time for it and approaching it with purpose. If your family calendar is packed, prioritize time together by scheduling it in advance. And be purposeful about your family time — what seeds do you want to plant and what fruit do you hope to produce?
That being said, hold your expectations loosely. Don’t expect perfect attitudes or perfect behaviors. You’re all human! The big picture goal is fostering family connection and reinforcing family culture, so resist the urge to sweat the small stuff.
This fantastic book isn’t about family time, specifically, but it does have a lot of great tips for how to incorporate family discipleship into your time together. Here is my full review of it.
4. Enforce a policy of kindness, grace, and respect
While time together is vital for family connections, it doesn’t inherently strengthen relationships. If it’s filled with fighting words and cutting remarks, it could have the opposite effect. Establish some ground rules that family time should be a time of encouragement, affection, and respect for each other — no put downs, teasing (the mean kind), or unkind words allowed. It may take a LOT of reminders and correction, but it will be worth the effort.
5. Make it fun and enjoyable
Family time shouldn’t be all toil and training, though. While it can be a lot of work, it should also be a lot of fun! Enjoying time together is an important part of strengthening bonds and building family identity. Plus, it will help your kids see family time as something to look forward to, rather than something to dread.
Need ideas? Here are 100 Fun Family Activities for Every Season!
SHARE WITH US: Do you have other tips to add? How do you maximize your family time? Tell us in the comments below!
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
- 7 Ways to Build a Loving Family
- 10 Ways to Build a Kingdom-Minded Family
- 7 Benefits of Regular Family Dinners
- Family Discipleship: A Must-Have Resource for Christian Families
Share your thoughts!