Children often use play and not words as a means of communicating.
With the holidays right around the corner, I wanted to bring up the importance of having predicable family traditions. If you’re like most parents, you are busy working, keeping up your home, and chauffeuring your kids to and from school and extracurricular activities. It’s no wonder that busy schedules often leave parents with little to no time to have dates with each other or play games with their kids. As a result, I find myself suggesting to most families who I work with to create traditions, such as “game night” and make them predicable by scheduling them and making those times sacred. It is a no brainer that spending more quality time with your partner and kids will have a positive impact on your relationships. Below are a few tips to help you create some traditions.
- Make it a family decision by asking your partner or kids what they want to do. In other words, don’t just do what you want, instead include the family in the decision making so everyone looks forward to family time.
- Put it on the calendar and make it recurring regardless if it is annually, monthly, or weekly. Unfortunately with busy schedules, if it’s not on the calendar, it’s unlikely to happen.
- Agree to make the tradition sacred and do not schedule other events during those times. This means learning to do a few things such as getting into the habit of checking your calendar before scheduling new events and learning how to say no.
Here are some ideas for traditions:
- Date night with your partner that includes dinner and a fun activity such as mini golf, bowling, movie theatre, ballet, comedy club, or festival.
- Game night with your partner and kids.
- Craft night with your kids.
- Have an overnight camping trip.
- Go fishing.
- Cook dinner together.
- Take a vacation.
- Take a weekly hike on your favorite trail.
- Go to church, temple, synagogue, etc.
Finally, just have fun with it and reap the rewards of joy that comes with spending quality time with your kids.
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My colleagues and I at Intuition Wellness Center specialize in counseling children, teens, and families. We have clinicians who specialize in working with families overcoming challenging patterns. If you believe you or someone you love could benefit from our services, we are here to help. Call 520-333-3320 for a free phone consultation.
Written by Yoendry Torres, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist
Image credit: “Family jump” by Evil Erin – http://www.flickr.com/photos/evilerin/3565026821/. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Family_jump.jpg#/media/File:Family_jump.jpg