Days blend together, weeks fly by and before you know it several months have passed and you never did that family movie night you promised the kids. Sound familiar? Intentional parenting means being very intentional with your time. If you are like me, you probably think, well I don’t have free time. I barely get to the gym, and if I do get out of the house it’s usually just to run errands or take someone somewhere. But when I actually stop, sit down and assess what I do every day, I can find plenty of places where I could do much better about being intentional with quality family time.
5 Easy Ways to Reclaim Family Time
- Limit your cell phone usage when at home. What does this mean? Well, don’t be like fifteen year old girls, with your cell phone literally glued to your hand. Texting, Facebook, Googling (if you’re like me) can all be “necessary” or “important” but in all honesty how often are you just filling time, or trying to keep yourself entertained? Be intentional and make a limit for when you can and can’t use it.
- Make meal time count. Breakfast is an easy time to sit together and talk about your upcoming day. Dinner should be non-negotiable most nights. Everyone has to eat together (even if that means dinner at four o’clock so everyone can get to practice on time). A great game to play is high and low. Ask your kids to name their high and low points of their day. It’s fun for them to be the center of attention, and it’s a way to connect, and get to know what’s going on inside those adorable little heads.
- Bedtime devotional. If you are a stay at home mom, or homeschool mom, or even a working mom, you may feel totally depleted by the time bedtime comes. But think back to your childhood…what do you remember about bedtime? I remember loving getting tucked in, and always begging my dad to rub my back. I remember my mom being too exhausted to hang out, and I find myself doing the same thing. Whether it’s mom or dad doing the devotional, or story time, it is such a bonding experience. It’s the last thought they are going to have before they go to sleep. It’s making family memories and instilling in your kids a love for reading, a love for God. And really, it’s the sweetest time to hear their heartfelt prayers.
- Limit after school activities. This can be a tough one for some families, but having your kids in a half dozen activities can be daunting, a burden on you, unhealthy for them, expensive and really take away from any possible family time. Prioritize those activities and ditch the ones that aren’t at the top of the list. (More on this topic –>)
- Schedule family time just like you would a doctor’s appointment. That’s right! Get it on the calendar. Remind everyone not to make plans, and actually plan an activity. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a camp fire in your backyard, or Redbox and popcorn. If you have it planned out, it will keep everyone on the same page.