A Little Time Goes A Long Way
Heathy families enjoy being together. Family time doesn't have to be
elaborate or expensive. The most simple activities will become the most
When children are asked "What makes a happy family?" they
respond "Doing things together!" It may seen so obvious that
it gets overlooked, but doing things together as a family builds family
strength. People sometimes say that it's not the quantity of time that
is important but the quality of time. It's hard, though, to have much
of a relationship with someone you don't spend much time with.
Here are ideas for busy parents on how to turn any time into family
Don't feel guilty. Family time may not always end up "greeting card"
happy. Quality time is simply the things we remember, that we hold on to
at the end of the day.
- Play games or dance as you cook, shop, clean or take care of animals.
- Expand healthy ideas into every day family life:
- Sing or listen to music together.
- Exercise together.
- Cuddle together with a good book. Make it a part of your everyday
routine, perhaps each night before bed.
- Sit down to pay the bills, and go through the mail next to your child
as he colors a picture.
- Limit TV time. Some TV time together is worthwhile in strengthening
families, but more often there are additional ways that families could
be spending time together that would do more to create a healthy family.
- Plan to use car travel time as a special "together time."
Sing; talk about your day and theirs; tell stories about your
childhood; have them tell you a story; identify colors, shapes
or objects along the road.
- Plan a special night, perhaps each week, when the family eats the
child's favorite food.
- Give your children a responsibility in the grocery store. Ask them
to match the coupons with the labels, point out where the bananas are,
etc. or play games such as "I see something" and have the
children guess what you see.
- Along with a goodnight hug and kiss, tell your child how much you
appreciate all the good things that they did that day. Be specific.
Prepared by Diane G. Ryals, Unit Educator,
Family & Youth
Kids & Food | Help
Your Child Succeed | Your Child's
Health | Challenges of
Parenting | Learning to Get
Along | Playtime Is Fun
Time | The Day Care Routine