One of my missions for Kids Activities Blog is to protect the endangered idea of family time.  I recently wrote about the Reality of Family Time over at Mom Minded. Finding Time for Family - Kids Activities Blog Modern life has provided many obstacles that weren’t even an issue {cough} 30-some years ago when I was a kid.  Spending time together is the root of family relationships and guarding those moments will pay off for years to come.

Things that Rob Our Families of Time Together

Full kids’ schedules – In some cases, we have taken enriching our children’s lives to an extreme.  Toting them from school to sports to music to drama to skills classes and back to school leaves very little down time.  This enrichment comes at a price.  The family is separated all over town and always under an obligation to go somewhere. Structured activities – This is what is filling the modern kids schedule.  Instead of kids learning from other kids to play soccer and football on the empty lot next door, they are being coached.  Instead of children joining together to figure out a social situation, they are under rules of behavior.  Mom playing catch with her son in the backyard is pre-empted by a Saturday skills clinic for 6 year olds. Technology for kids – Taking a 2 year-old out to a restaurant in 2013 is a very different thing than it was just 10 years ago.  It likely includes an iPad and headphones with some favorite movies.  On one hand, I am jealous that two-year-old entertainment is that easy because back in the olden days all I had was crayons to be thrown across the room.  On the other hand, kids need to learn how to behave when they are bored. Technology for adults – Yep, this is where I am going to throw myself under the bus.  It is so easy to get distracted by a FB post or a tweet and then enter the black hole of social media without a plan to return to real life.  We sit down to check our email and come up for air 3 hours later without a clue as to what happened in our homes in our absence.  I don’t like to be bored anymore than a 2 year old! No quiet time – All these things have combined to create a very noisy life.  The TV is always in the background, the schedule is full of things that have to be attended, play is directed, kids are wearing headphones, mom is on the computer and the family is always on the go. Ack! What are we going to do?  This isn’t why I had kids.  This isn’t the family that I want. We are going to take back our family time.  Moment by moment.  Memory by memory. The good news about family time is it doesn’t have to be pretty.  There is no need for the kitchen counter to be cleared or the shoes picked up in the living room.  We don’t have to be in color-coordinating outfits {but not too matchy} like the family photo.  We don’t even have to set the table. We can just be together. I had the pleasure of being on The Conversation Corner radio show with Rick Limpert and Steve Lee last night.  We covered how childhood has changed over the last few years in relation to family time. You can hear our conversation on the link above or if there is a player below, click!

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  1. one thing our family does is hike. I find that while the kids do get a bit tired sometimes, they are 5 & 3 it forces conversation. Our kids have no hiked 4 miles at one time and there is some grumbling in the process I find that it is such an amazing way to unplug and really focus on your family and your kids. We also enjoy camping and the place where we camp doesn’t have cell service nor a lot of extra stuff for the kids to do so it forces conversation. I do find when I am home that it is harder, and one of my goals is to get into games more. I also am a big believer in family dinners no matter how difficult they may be. We eat late sometimes around 7:30 but I like sitting down.

  2. It was great having you on Conversation Corner Holly and we had a great discussion. Plan on coming back again!

  3. This is so true. Sometime trying to plan a structured family time just makes it harder to make it happen. Movie nights on the couch with popcorn are my family’s best quality time. There are times we miss half the movie playing around with each other.

    1. I know! I have learned to only plan one thing a day and not make it elaborate. Popcorn is easy! Sitting down to watch a favorite TV show or play a video game together is something that I can regularly execute without getting stressed out.