As the Christmas holidays draw to a close some families are taking the opportunity to consider activities and resolutions for 2014, such as planning holidays and maximising the time they have as a family.
Coming together as a family to decide on resolutions can be a bonding experience; instead of telling the kids, ‘Okay, the parents have decided this…’, there should be more ‘Let’s think about how we can spend more time together as a family’. Family resolution is a shared commitment and ensures that everyone’s opinion is heard and that everyone is able to contribute.
The key to setting successful and achievable resolutions is about framing it positively, instead of resolutions such as ‘no puddings in 2014’, a family might choose something more achievable like ‘eat healthier in 2014’. Some other ideas to consider are:
- Reduce TV time: whilst the television can be sometimes seen as a ‘caregiver’ for children, introduce family fun breaks in between so that everyone can take a respite from the screen in the evening.
- Evening meal together: set a certain time in the evening so that everyone can sit down to enjoy a meal together and discuss their day.
- Go outdoors: research shows that children these days spend less time playing outdoors than any other previous generation. At the weekend have one outing together, it doesn’t have to be expensive, it can simply be about having a walk before Sunday lunch.
- Introduce a family calendar, this way everyone can manage their own time accordingly around activities that bring everyone together as a team. Ensure that the evening meal is included, the walks or excursions. It’s also important to mark personal time for individual members in the family – everyone needs their own downtime after all.
There will inevitably be setbacks along the way, however these can always be worked around with compromise, after all the calendar is there from a suggestion point of view – nothing is set in stone, but ensure that an alternative time is put aside for those one-off unavoidable situations.
Taking the time out to acknowledge success throughout the year for achieving a goal is also incredibly important and motivating. A reward for sticking to the family calendar for three months will mean a day out together to just have fun and kick back, this also gives everyone a sense of purpose to achieve what’s incredibly important as a family.
For more invaluable advice on maximising family time, click here