Making quality time with the family can definitely be a challenge. As we know, us parents or guardians must work to provide enough food, shelter, and clothing for the family. And although we want to spend more quality time with our children, we are often torn by our need to work. Kids have busy schedules as well, often becoming involved in technology, with their friends and the need to focus on schoolwork. When they are with their parents or guardians, they may feel forced to spend quality time with them.
When the family does have free time together, possibly during weekends and during vacations, they may actually seem like strangers due to their different schedules. So, how do you balance individual needs with the family needs? Here is one idea for your consideration that can enhance mutual respect and other side benefits:
First, you may want to buy a book entitled ‘The Kid’s Book of Questions’ by Gregory Stock. It contains a variety of hypothetical questions that can inspire and benefit the entire family, offering a fun conversation and an opportunity to learn more about your children.
Next, determine a specific amount of time – at least once during the week and once during the weekend – where everyone sits and faces one another. Everyone’s phones should be on silent and should be in another room so that there is not the temptation to surf the Internet or check messages.
Next, ask the youngest of your family to say a number. You, as the adult, should open the book to see if the question is age appropriate. If so, read the question out loud. The topics are usually age appropriate, but if the question appears to be too sensitive, another number should then be requested.
Next, the youngest child gives his or her opinion about the topic. When doing so, everyone should look at the person responding, as nowadays we tend not to want to have visual contact. Afterwards, other family members should react if they desire to do so.
The next oldest person asks for another number with another question and gives an answer, and the other kids participate afterwards. Along with the kids asking and responding, you should participate by voicing your opinions and subsequently getting responses from others in your family.
At least one person needs to share his or her thoughts with the rest of the family reacting each time you have this activity.
The results of such an activity can help everyone understand and respect one another that much more so. Kids will subsequently make more mature decisions, develop more realistic self-confidence, and learn how to listen to everyone better. They can become more creative and critical in their thinking. They can become more self-assertive in classroom activities and even possibly earn higher grades.