ways to bring family time into your day
Balancing work and family stresses
By BZ Riger-Hull
The pace of life seems to quicken every year. More and more time
is spent rushing from job to after school activities or evening meetings. It's
easy to get over whelmed and to loose a sense of family and relaxation in our
homes. Here are a few ideas to help strengthen your family and to keep some of
life's pressures and stresses out of the home.
~ Be involved but learn how to say No, once in a while. You want
to be an involved informed parent but you need to keep your schedule sane. So
don't volunteer for everything and don't sign your kids up for every after
school sport or activity. Set limits on these activities, car pool whenever
possible, and limit the activities you volunteer for and your children
participate in to two for each half of the school year.
~ Week long family vacations are great but sometimes you need a
family break more often. Plan mini retreats that give you a break from your
routine and allow down time where you can just hang out. See if a local hotel
with a swimming pool has off-season rates. Then get together with one or two
other families whose company you enjoy and book a night in the hotel. Bring
swimsuits for the kids and a good book for yourself. You can also turn off the
TV, telephone, computer, and CD player for the night, cook an easy meal or order
take out and tell stories or play cards or a board game. Teenagers may think its
hokey at first but they really do appreciate the change of pace and the time
with their family.
~ Eat dinner at the table not in front of the TV or standing in
the kitchen grabbing a quick bite just before rushing out to the next activity.
Consciously eating your meals not only improves digestion but also allows you
thirty minutes to slow down and reconnect; sharing things that happened during
the day. Make it mandatory and after a few weeks you will see how everyone
really looks forward to this short peace of family time each night.
~ Develop family traditions with your immediate and extended
family members. Come up with a special night once or twice a year that isn't
tied to a holiday. Have everyone who comes make something to eat, even the
littlest ones. Share what you have been doing since the last get together and
come up with some fun game everyone can get involved in. Horse shoes, softball,
badminton, the game isn't important it's the time you spend together just
goofing around without judgment and the pressures of the regular schedule of
~ Keep expectations of achievement in school at a reasonable
level; encourage your children to strive for things and work at a level that
always gives them a bit of a challenge, but don't push them into situations that
are too different or may regularly affect their self esteem.
©BZ Riger-Hull. Author of The Soul of Success http://www.in-spiros.com
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