Have you read your kids the tale of the tortoise and the hare? Busy moms like us often forget the takeaway from that fable for themselves…the fastest way isn’t always the best way!
Today, too often, in our crunch-time, multi-tasking, deadline-oriented world, the quickest way is what we consider the best. But expediency can often replace quality and excellence, and the last place you want to “cut it short” is in the time you give your family.
So, save the “quick fixes” for business or to keep the old family car and washer/dryer running. Go for quality and excellence with your family with “time on your side,” as the Rolling Stones used to sing. No matter how pressing other matters may seem, remember, when it comes to making quality time with your family, its ok to slow down a bit, and instead of watching the minutes tick by on the clock – be in the moment – and enjoy every second you have!
A Rusher? No More!
With kids (or the spouse), isn’t it usually “hurry up!” while you are impatiently pacing? Many a parent has been there, and many has made a change to become a “Reformed Rusher”! This state of being might require deep breaths for the patience and a new frame of mind to be in a family moment. Nevertheless, a parent who is a reformed rusher, at least when it comes to your family quality, goes a long, long way to promoting quality family time.
Experiencing the Precious
Many of those precious, unforgettable quality family moments are when you just allow for taking the time to take into your heart things like these:
- Watch your child devour a 2 scoop ice or ice cream cone of the most unlikely flavors–all until that last satisfying slurp (that you might just get yourself!), and you’ll find yourself and your family breathing in the magic of that experience!
- Be there for the “fashion parade” as your daughter tries on every single outfit from her drawers before the school bell.
- Witness the lessons your child (or spouse) learned on the “musical” instrument.
- Be the nurse and rub a child’s or a mate’s neck if they are in pain or can’t sleep.
Ditch the Tick-Tock Tech
Refuse to live by the sound of the ticking clock — instead, peel up your ears to the sounds around you–especially of nature. Children are fascinated by natural sounds—breathing and how each person’s breath sounds different. When was last time you put your ear to your child’s chest and just reveled in the rhythm of his or her tiny heartbeat?
The changing panorama of sounds outside your home or even the open windows are not just passing fascinations or noise but clues to life and family living.
Make a family tradition to run to the window with your family with a key phrase like “mommy, daddy, the sky is blue!!” and check out the sky, the traffic, what whizzes by, what goes by soundlessly, the helpful services like garbage trucks or mail delivery.
“Stop and smell the roses” may seem an out of date cliché in our tumultuous technology times, but taking the time to contemplate life for just a couple of minutes–is true quality time, and it is more beautiful and real family fun, than anything possibly seen on any screen.
Have cuddle time before bedtime a great tradition for quality family time. Read, do prayers, make up a poem or song.
Don’t hurry up chores–cleaning, cooking but allow for some quality family time with a shared experience that will be fun–despite and with the messes that no doubt will occur. Somebody once quoted a great positive family attitude with a spin on those expected family foibles. “The thing about family disasters is that you never have to wait long before the next one puts the previous one into perspective.”
While driving for errands, avoid the easiest time crunch with the kids and their machines. Instead, sing, joke, makeup riddles, get the giggles going on those otherwise boring errands.
Other Quality Time Ideas
- Add to face-to-face interactions away from the screens to create closer family times and family ties.
- Make dinner time mandatory for everyone to sit together with no electronics, papers–just the fresh faces to see what it there for you. Try for as many times a week as you can schedule.
- Reduce and limit TV time to maximum 1-2 hours a day–if at all.
- Reduce video time, social media network sites.
- Add book reading to the family weekly plan, reading to kids every day.
- Make 1 night a family night for some type of family activity that everyone either joins in some fashion.
- Choose an unbirthday date to celebrate any day in a zany, sweet, or unbirthday manner.
- Lighten up and be silly. Throw on some fun music and do a crazy move and let the kids imitate or do their own. Have a contest with prize for the most laughable. Remember, as one famous quote goes, family life is like a runny peach pie–not perfect, but who’s complaining.
Now is the Time
Quality family time is always ready for you because kids are always ready for anything and everything. It’s usually a matter of simply to stop saying “Don’t do that…” and instead, “Let’s do THIS!”
Use your fingers to paint more and point out bad behavior less, take your eyes off your watch and watch with your eyes, take more hikes and fly more kites, stop playing serious and seriously play, do more hugging and less tugging – and you will be on your way to some fabulous family fun!