For many of us the reason we work is to make a better life for the ones we care about. However, the risk of forgetting about these people while we are working is increasingly present. We are all putting more demands on ourselves and can often forget about the big picture.
A recent study in the UK identified several techniques that families are using to improve their family time.
Here are five things parents suggest trying for starters:
- Come in relaxed. If you need to, take 10 minutes to shower and change before you sit down with the children. Children pick up on moods and will sense your unhappiness with the family routine if you run in complaining about hold ups at work, missed meals, or late bedtimes. But if you seem relaxed about the daily routine, they’ll relax and take it in their stride. Even if they see you for just 30 minutes every evening, or at the weekend if you work away or live separately, it builds a positive routine.
- Eat with your children. If it’s late and they’ve already eaten, get into the habit of sitting down and enjoying a light snack and a chat with them before they go up to bed. The chat doesn’t have to be about anything heavy. Telling them about your day, an interesting job you’ve done, or a person you’ve met. It may encourage them to tell you about their day as well. Every evening can be different, but that time over dinner can become one of the most enjoyable parts of your family’s routine.
- Do something together. It doesn’t have to be anything special or take very long. The fact is your children will just enjoy being around you for a short time each day. It could be while you water the garden, walk the dog around the block, or pick up their brother or sister from a friend’s place. As long as you’re relaxed, and listening to their chat, they’ll be happy.
- Enjoy the bedtime routine. Bath time, story time, or both if there’s time. If you have relaxed and eaten, it will help low energy levels, and may help you keep your eyes open during that bedtime story you’ve already read to them 10 times! You know your children don’t need, or want, full on entertainment, just having your quiet company while they play in the bath or listening to a short story at bedtime will be enough for them. Then you can watch your children settle down happy in the knowledge that you’re there.
- Make one night your special night. Movie night, lego night or computer game night. Whatever they fancy. Few working parents can join in with their children’s post-school fun and games every evening. However, when you can, your children will love to know that there’s one night when everything stops, just for them.
However you approach this, it is important to enjoy the time you have with your children.
We understand that this is not always easy to do, but the smallest changes can make the world of difference. Spending time with your children can help your family relationships become stronger and develop tighter bonds.
With a tight family unit, if we can help with the streamlining and making the financial side easier, please do not hesitate to contact us.