Article originally appeared on the mental health counseling website
Life can get pretty hectic, especially if you're a full-time working mom or dad while simultaneously trying to raise a happy and healthy family. Attempting to balance it all may seem like an impossible task and the guilt that comes along with not spending enough time with your family can be overwhelming, but don't throw in the towel just yet. It's not the quantity of time you spend with your loved ones that's important, but the quality. Here are five ways in which you can spend quality time with your family.
1. Schedule a game night at home. Quality time includes having fun with your family so try to plan a game night once a week. Board games, card games and video games are great ways to enjoy family time together. These fun activities can help bring your family closer together.
2. Dinner time is quality time. With such busy schedules, it might be difficult to have dinner together on a regular basis, but make sure you do at least once a week. One very important rule should be no electronics (no cell phones or tablets) at the dinner table. Also, encourage your kids to talk about their day by asking open-ended questions, such as "so tell me about school today."
3. Schedule family outings. Instead of just shuttling kids from one activity to another on the weekends, plan a family excursion as well, even if it's only once or twice a month. Going for a drive or a walk, visiting a museum or park, or going to family festivals or events in your town or city are great ways to spend quality time with your kids.
4. Driving can turn into bonding time too. Your children don't always have to be on their cell phones or tablets while in the car so once or twice a week, while taking your kids to or from school or to different events, spend the time engaging your children in conversation or playing road trip games together like "I spy."
5. Schedule time for just you and/or your spouse. Take care of yourself too so make sure you schedule some alone time just for you. Couple's time without your kids is also important and can also help strengthen your bond with your spouse.
The hustle and bustle of everyday life can be overwhelming at times. That's why it's so important to plan events and activities for you and your family to do together. Family time is precious and even though they may not show you now, your children will appreciate those special moments they spend bonding with their family- and so will you.
Alicia Emamdee, RMHCI (Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern), is the author of the YA romance novel, "Aloha Self-Esteem?" which provides ways for teen girls to improve their self-esteem. Alicia is currently working on her second novel in her self-esteem series for women in their 30s and 40s.