As parents we strive to support our families both financially and emotionally. It is easy to lose sight of our priorities when our careers demand so much of us. Granted, each one of us must make a living to support our families, but we must also take into consideration our family’s emotional well-being. By setting aside time for our children as well as our spouse, we’ll strengthen their beliefs that they are loved and they are an important part of the family. We can successfully buy out memorable quality time with your family by following just a few easy steps.
Wake Up Early and Prepare Breakfast
This may take a little more discipline than most of the steps that will be mentioned. If we like most, work a “9 to 5” job, our sleep is very important to us. Some like to hold on to the bed for a few extra minutes, and then race to shower, eat and make it to work on time. Starting the day out like this can have a few drawbacks and even fewer benefits. One obvious drawback is that we deny our family the joy of spending time with us. We only grace them with passing hellos and short goodbyes. Another drawback is that we rob ourselves of being close to our family, even if for just a few minutes before work.
A simple solution to this would be to get up early before everyone else and have breakfast with them. Everyone’s schedules are different. Let’s just take into consideration that you and your spouse are scheduled to be at work at 9 a.m. The kids’ bus doesn’t arrive until 8:30 a.m. A good idea would be to plan on getting up at or around 5:30 a.m. Yes, I know that’s tough, but it’s worth it! Shower and dress for work ahead of time, then if it is your style, prepare breakfast for the family. And when your family is ready for breakfast, start a family discussion. Get everyone involved. Make sure you briefly address each member of your family and let them know that you do care about them. Be sure to tell them that they are loved and that you enjoyed your “family breakfast” together. If it was as enjoyable for them as it was for you, they will yearn for more breakfast time together as a family.
Schedule “Special Nights” or “Our Time”
Many children act up or misbehave when they feel as though their parents are not giving them enough attention. So they “plan” on ways to get your attention. It is often that children will act up in school, (either by fighting or mouthing off to the teacher), to get your attention. This may well be the best “strategy” plan devised by a child. When they act up in school, the school administrators call you and ask you to come in and talk about little Johnny. Therefore, you have to take time off from your job and come to the school to talk about your child’s behavior. This is also a warning sign or a cry for help from your child. He is trying to tell you that he needs attention.
If you find yourself in this situation, here is some helpful advice to counter your child’s normal adolescent behavior. Pick a night to have special time with your child. It could be any night of the week that you are free to do whatever he wants. Yes, do whatever he wants! Most parents see Friday night as the best night for this. Let your child choose what he wants to do. Let him know that you care about his feelings and you want to spend time with him. Most children love spending time with their parents. Some may deny it, but the evidence shows that it is the best medicine for a young child’s heartache.
If your child’s idea of special time involves watching the television, kindly suggest participating in another activity that is thought-provoking and educational. If he doesn’t go for it, then suggest an activity that you know he loves to participate in. If he has a collection of rare Chinese beetles, by all means, let him discuss them with you. This will again, assure him that you are interested in him as in individual and that you care about him.
Quiet Time With Spouse
Setting aside time for your spouse is critical for the outworking of a successful family. A strong marriage bond can withstand any trial that may face the family as a whole. The trial may be as minuscule as a late bill payment or as colossal as the loss of a job. Whatever the case may be, having two strong heads of the family will provide you with security and the satisfaction of knowing that you can get through whatever comes your way.
Scheduling time out may be easier said than done for some. It is easy to neglect one’s spouse when our jobs and children demand so much of us. Nonetheless, spending quality time with our spouse is essential. Try some of these ideas and work towards building up a steady routine of quality spousal time together.
Take time to talk to one another. Simply talking and listening to one another will strengthen one’s faith in you as a communicator and a listener. Be quick to listen and slow to speak.
Read to one another. This in itself is a treasure to cherish. What better way to have your spouse’s undivided attention while you read a favorite story to them. It is an age old way to captivate your spouse by means of your precious voice.
Schedule a romantic dinner. This is another effective way to spend quality time with your spouse. Do not think that only dinners that take place in a five star French restaurant are romantic. That’s not the case. You can create your own atmosphere there in your home. All it takes is a little effort and determination. You and your spouse need quiet time to reflect on your lives and to be reminded of why it is that you two love each other.