Family Counseling: Carving Out More Time for Your Family
Let’s face it, life can be crazy! Everyone’s running in different directions. It can be really hard to connect…but it’s so important. All the lessons and practices in the world will never replace the time your children really want with you.
A lot of the work we do in family counseling really comes down to helping families find meaningful ways to re-connect. So what are some steps you can take to protect that all important “family time?”
Model the importance of it
You need to show your family that time together is important. That means being available. Don’t stay late at work to get one more thing done. Tuck your kids in at night. Sit down to a meal with everyone. If you aren’t showing them that family time is important, there’s no way they will buy into the idea of making it a regularly scheduled event.
Involve everyone’s input
Give everybody the opportunity to say what they would like to do. It’s not your responsibility to be the family entertainment director. One option that works really well, is assigning each family member to be in charge of planning a different activity. The kids must get approval from you, but let them come up with the ideas, make phone calls to get more info, etc. You may have to help younger kids. The rule with this is that no one is allowed to complain. They just have to suck it up, do the activity and remember they get to plan the activity eventually.
Make it a priority
Let everyone know that family is important and don’t allow other things to get in the way. Your family time is just as important as the karate class and piano lessons. I bet you have those activities written on your calendar. Shouldn’t your family time get just as much attention and planning?
Things may feel awkward the first few times if your family isn’t used to spending a lot of time together. Recognize this ahead of time. New things are always a little uncomfortable. Keep at it though! Relax and just enjoy each other. After a few times, you’ll find it fun.