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5 Simple Tips for Reclaiming Family Time

 Here are 5 handy tips to help us refocus and reclaim our Family time!

1.  Set goals as a family

Before every new “season,” sit down with your family to set a few goals, even if they seem trivial or menial. You might want to serve as a family at a local outreach, but there is no way that can happen if you have football, soccer, and ballet every night of the week….believe me I know!  You might decide that you want to intentionally get to know your neighbors, which may mean leaving some time open on a Saturday or Sunday!

2. Discuss your family’s boundaries

Before you plan out your calendar, decide what you are NOT willing to do.  That might look like deciding that whatever you commit to, you WILL have an average of 2-3 meals a night together as a family, spending quality time together.  It might mean that you will intentionally monitor the times the television is on or the amount of time your children are playing games with screens (iPods, iPhones,”iWhatevers).   If you don’t set your boundaries, they will be set for you…believe me I know this too!

3.  Envision the memories before you create them

While you are setting goals and creating boundaries, decide in advance a few of the memories you’d like your family to have. This will look different at every stage of life, but think about the conversations your kids will have as adults. What things would you like for them to talk about it?  Do you want those conversations to include things like how you spent one day a month serving your community as a family or family “Stay-cations,” or road trips?  It helps to envision the future while planning the days!

4.  Limit extracurricular activities

In our house it is one activity/sport per child at a time (yup that’s all I can handle!), and we rarely carry that load every season. You need to decide what that looks like for you!

5. Plan a menu and embrace the dinner table…buy a crockpot!

Create a normalcy of sit down dinners or breakfasts or whatever works for your family.  Then set some rules like “No getting up from the table during the meal,” or “No singing at the table,” or “No TV at the table.” It takes work, but you will be shocked at how much good family time you can have together in a single hour around an organized meal.

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