hispanic familyWhile it is not always easy, scheduling family time is important studies show that spending regular quality time together as a family increases family health and well-being, as well as benefits children’s healthy development. 

 

Here are ten tips for modern families to make the most of their time together. 

  1. Get on the same page  Create an online calendar for the family. This way you’ll all get a sense of everyone’s activities/plans for the day. It’s also an ideal way for your family to collaborate on different projects.  
  2. Make meal time simpler  Start a calendar of what the family wants to cook over the next few days or few weeks with notes on each day for that day’s menu. 
  3. Enjoy a Date Night  Many YMCA’s have affordable and easy parent’s night out/kid’s night out. Your children can be left in the YMCA’s care for a night of fun, games and pizza. While the kids stay entertained, you get to spend quality time with your partner, whether it’s going out for a meal or just relaxing together. 
  4. Email your memories  Set up an email account when your child is born and email them how you feel when they hit certain milestones (first word, first steps, etc.). Share little stories that you know they will enjoy when they get older. 
  5. Exercise and track it  Use fitness trackers to count your family’s steps. Make it a fun challenge for the whole family. 
  6. All devices should be treated equal  Schedule computer and tablet time between family members. Establish electronic curfews. This will encourage families to do things together and force kids to get creative with their free time. 
  7. Find my phone  Enable locator apps or settings on your family devices so the next time mom can’t find her iPad or dad leaves his iPhone at Starbucks, anyone in your family can help find it.   
  8. Create a sticker chart  Go old school; use this chart to help your kids participate in every day household chores. A child will be much more excited about tracking completed tasks with cute pictures, cartoons, and other fun stickers than words on a chore chart. It serves as a reminder and an incentive. 
  9. What is your family brand?  Create a family brand and identify attributes and characteristics of what you stand for. 
  10. Respect alone time and take time for you  Moms and dads often forget about themselves and can become run-down. You should set aside “me time” each month.

source:  YMCA of Greater New York

Geraldine Jensen

Publisher and Editor of Families Online Magazine. Our experts provide warm, loving, and generous advice for you, your family and children, no matter their age -- infants, school age, 'tweens, and teenagers. Features include:Parenting, Ages and Stages of Child Development, Child Support, Cooking, Health, Children's Books, Nutrition, Christian Parenting, Relationships, Green-living, Education and School

Ms. Jensen is a leading advocate for families and children and was the founder and president of ACES, The Association for Children for Enforcement of Support.
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