How To Improve The Quality Of Your Family Time

 

As a self-employed family man, I used to think that I was either earning money or not earning money depending on whether I was working or not.

Most of my clients tell me that at some point or another they have found themselves enslaved to their work in the pursuit of success, money & happiness.

However, what they find is that even if leaving the house at 5am and getting home at 11pm reflects in their bank balance, it almost always leaves them feeling less happy than before.

They can now afford to upgrade the car, book a holiday or build an extension on their house but something is still missing.

Family time.

You can work tirelessly to provide the best things you can for your family but the end result will be that the one thing they truly want will always be missing – your time and attention.

 

What is QUALITY family time?

The activity is irrelevant.  What’s important is the interaction and enjoyment that you get from spending time together.

Doing the food shopping together might count as family time but whether or not any of you perceive it as ‘quality’ family time is another matter.

The reality is that if you are all having fun, interacting and enjoying each other’s company then who cares what or where it is?

 

How do you fund these activities?

Who said anything about money? You can enjoy your family time without having to spend a single penny.

That’s not to say that a day trip somewhere isn’t an awesome way to do it.  In fact, a study conducted in 2013 found that a family day out topped the list of things parents considered to be the ‘ultimate luxury’.

It beat everything – including cars, holidays and clothes!

Of course, a trip out can be pretty brutal on the wallet.  There’s travel costs, entry fees, food, drinks, souvenirs – the list is endless.

So the temptation to work more hours and earn more money is quite compelling – like a ‘work hard play hard’ kinda deal.

But families crave time together more than they need an extra large pop corn or a cuddly toy.

I know my daughter would rather spend both weekend days wife my wife & I than have a new toy once a month.

That’s what I want to and no doubt it’s YOUR number 1 priority,

In the same study that I mentioned earlier, 68% of parents felt they had worked hard towards financial goals at the expense of their family.

I am always being told that these times will never come again and I am starting to really understand and embrace this.

 

Stop, collaborate and listen

I will share some of the things we like to do as a family over on the Total Fitness Coaching Facebook page and write a separate article on it too.

But here are three simple things you can do to make the most of your family time and increase the quality of it.

STOP – looking at your phone.  If you’re having family time then you’re not at work.  Unless the phone rings for an emergency it will wait until later.

Collaborate – as a team.  What do the children want to do?  What better way to make sure they have a fun time than to ask them what they want? You may well have to manage some expectations here as Legoland every weekend might be a stretch!

Listen – watching a film or sharing a meal together can be immensely rewarding, if you let them.  Don’t forget the lost art of conversation.  Children are wise – you’d be amazed at what they can teach you. Failing that they’re f*ckin’ hilarious!

 

Something for the weekend?

We all enjoy a good weekend but it can be hard to when all we want to do is unwind and relax after a busy week.

If you feel that you waste your weekends as you can’t think of anything to do then maybe try and plan a fun activity in advance.

Chilling at home is awesome and certainly has its place but don’t be surprised if it drives your children stir crazy.  The reason they annoy (or sometimes annoy) you at the weekends if just pure boredom.

We’re experiencing the joys of ‘terrible two’s’ at the moment and yes, they ARE real!  As soon as we go out however, problem solved.

 

I’m not super nanny

Actually, super nanny is a moron but I just mean that I am in no way TELLING you how to live your life or look after your children.

I am simply relating mine and many of my clients experiences in the hopes that it will enrich your life as an entire family.

What do you like to do as a family?
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