Me in a Tree

Posts Tagged ‘family time’

8Aug

It’s unmistakeable to say that families are busier than ever with demands Scheduling Timefiring in in all kinds of directions. That in mind, it is becoming increasingly important that families schedule and observe family time as you would a business appointment or restaurant reservations.

Our world places so any demands on both children and parents, and time spent exclusively on family keeps getting pushed down the priority list. Instead, an extra little bit of work or a Sunday football practice moves up. In reality, happy, tight-knit families make family a priority. If you can take one look at your calendar and sigh in exasperation that you will have no time to spend with your family, then maybe you need to reset your priorities and rearrange your schedules to fit.

Get out a pen and brand one day every week as “FAMILY DAY”. Having it on the calendar will make accomplishing it a little easier and will model to your children that family is a priority and that you intentionally make time to spend it with the ones that you love the most.

Check out Me in a Tree for advice and practical tips to encourage scheduling time with your family.

7Aug

So, you’re busy – obviously. There are an increasing number of demands on today’s families. Saying noFrom double income parents to that awful 5 am hockey practice to ballet rehearsal, extra demands placed on families can take their toll.

Because you love your children and enjoy spending time with them, it is important to learn to exercise your ability to say no. You have to learn how not to become over committed. For instance, if you worked all week and have a few hours to spend with your children on the weekend, you would spend it with them. Then a friend, whom you haven’t seen since your 10th high school reunion, calls and asks you to go for coffee, what do you do? This would be a good time to exercise your ability and power to say no. If you can, schedule your coffee for another time during the week, and tell your friend that your children are your first priority.

The power of “no” comes from a self-reflection on what you think is important to you, what you value and believe. This will also help distinguish what types of demands are extraneous and don’t deserve immediate attention.

A great way to achieve a balance in your life is to sit down with your family, decide what is important to you as a family, and set priorities. A weekly meeting such as a family huddle is a practical way to establish these goals.

4Aug

Cookies & Crème Pudding Pops Recipepudding pops

What You Need

6 Oreo Cookies
1 pkg. (4-serving size) Instant Chocolate Pudding
2 cups cold milk
1/2 cup thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping

How to Make

1. BEAT pudding mix and milk in medium bowl with whisk 2 min.
2. PLACE cookies in resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Crush with rolling pin.
3. ADD cookie crumbs and Cool Whip; stir just until blended.
4. SPOON into 9 paper or plastic cups. Insert wooden pop stick or plastic spoon into each for handle. Freeze 5 hours or until firm.

29Jul

Families who subscribe to cable or satellite television serviceappointment television know that you can look ahead to see what shows are on TV that night, and even in to the next day and week. Many families practice a media theory called “appointment television”, which is just that: you look ahead in the channel menu or TV guide, and determine which shows that you are going to watch. The TV is only on during those specific shows. This practice is good for families, for many reasons.

Being selective in which shows you do or do not watch will cut down on your screen time significantly. Much time spent in front of the television involves flipping through channel after channel, and you become idle. In fact, many pediatricians recommend that children under two should not be watching television at all, and that it is a good idea to limit your children (two and up) to two hours per day of screen time.

Cutting down on your screen time will give your family more freedom to spend time with each other. With the time you spend not watching television, you can fill with a nice walk or bike ride. You can crack open the seals on the board games that slumber in your front closet.

Appointment television also enables you to screen TV content for its palatability for your children, no matter how young.

If you are not convinced, just try practicing appointment television, and you will notice a difference in the closeness and level of communication that you share as a family.

28Jul

Hula Hooping was popular in the 1950s but can still bring lots of laughs!  Hula HoopingThere are so many games you can play with a hula hoop such as:

  • who can do the maximum rotations
  • who can push their hoop the furthest down the street
  • if you really up for a challenge have the family all join hands while holding the hoop and then try to move the hula hoop from person to person without letting go

Now it’s time to turn off the computer and get outside with your family!

21Jul

Summer would not be summer without blowing bubbles. kids blowing bubblesBubbles are a great to enjoy your time together, especially if you make your own solutions and then go around the house and find things to use as wands.

Check out this easy bubble recipe.

To make your bubble wand just find a slotted spoon, 6-pack rings, cookie cutters, mason jar rings or even a fly swatter.

Oh, the things you can do with an imagination!

11Jul

These days, families don’t seem to have enough time to spend with each other. Me in a TreeThere are a growing number of families who have a dual income; however, that results in less time parents get to spend with their children. Families have to be innovative in creating quality time. While there are many ways to accomplish this, a fun and creative way to carve out time is to host a fundraiser.

There are countless fundraisers that you can try as a family, here a few ideas to get you started:

Amazing feats: hold a competition with your family to determine who has the craziest trick, like who can roll their tongue into a clover leaf or who is the most flexible.
Host an art gallery: if you have some artists in the family, you can create arts and crafts together. Donate the proceeds of any sales to an organization or cause of your choice.
Have a garage sale:  send some time as a family going through your stuff, and sell what you don’t need or want anymore. Proceeds from the garage sale can either go towards a night out with the family or to an organization or cause of your choice.

It doesn’t matter what the fundraiser is, as long as you are spending time together as a family.

A good place to start spending more time together is initiating a Family Huddle, a time set aside weekly to discuss life as a family.

4Jul

Do the gifts you give to your children replace quality time with them? Gift of TImeWhile this may seem tough, it is a harsh reality of our culture. For instance, Christmas usually starts at 6am with excited children eager to open their scads of presents. But, what happens after all the presents are open? Everybody becomes preoccupied with their new gifts. What’s quite often left behind is the time that you spend with your family.

Parents often spoil their children with gifts, rather than quality time. This can lead to adverse effects as your family ages. Here are some things you can do to keep from spoiling your children.

Be a good role model. While you may not be the only influence in your child’s life, you are the best one. Model the importance of hard work and valuing what you have.
Determine what it means to take care of your child. You don’t need physical goods to show that you care, but rather giving time to your child will be more effective in creating a special, long-term bond.
• With your child, define the difference between needs, wants, and desires.
Say no. Giving into your child every moment will only foster the desire to want more material things or more attention.
Have your child set goals. Let them determine the things they would like, and outline some steps that your child can take to achieve those goals.

A child spoiled with the gift of quality time is never spoiled. Food for thought.

Check out www.meinatree.com, an online, interactive resource that gives parents and kids tools, activities and games to build a stronger family.

8Jun

We understand. You’re busy. You have work to do, dinner to prepare, ballet buns to pin,Me in a Tree and soccer jerseys to clean. However, amidst all the business that life throws at families, it is important to realize that just having fun is an essential part of raising a happy and healthy family.

A magical thing happens when families can put aside the world and play together: they begin to really form a bond. They talk about the things that they like or don’t like. Memories are created and stored. Communication lines are opened. Play is the ingredient that is missing in many families as most are subject to this crazy, fast-paced life.

Here are just some suggestions to rev up your precious time as a family:

• Board games: they encourage communication, fair competition, and other important skills such as logical thinking.
• Rock climbing (or some other physical activity): this is a great way to get out, experience your community, and get some exercise too!
• Crafting: this activity can encourage creative thinking, expression, and you will have fun creating different things.
• Visit a museum: find a museum or conservancy in the local area and spend time together learning about different time periods, ecosystems, or anything else of interest. You’ll be grateful for the time spent together and learn a little something too.

Life demands a lot from families these days, but taking time every week or two to focus on your family will produce amazing results.

Sources:
CBN: Families That Play Together Burns
Examiner: The Family That Plays Together Stays Together
She Knows Parenting: Make Family Bonding Fun With Group Play

7Jun

A family that eats together, stays together. It’s an increasing trend that as families become busier Me in a Treewith extracurricular activities, work, friends, and other things, there is no room to sit down and eat as a family unit. However, experts say that this is a key predictor of how your children will act in adolescence. The more children eat with their families, the better they do in school, and the less they will get involved in unsavory situations.

Meals are an interesting activity because for some reason, it opens up lines of communication. Families who eat together, talk to each other more. There is a safety involved in dinner conversation. Children are more likely to be open to talk to their parents when something is bothering them. This is very beneficial, especially in the angst-filled teenage years.

Another important benefit from eating together is that it is proven time and again to be healthier. Taking time to prep, cook, and educate your children on the importance of nutrition and healthy choices, instead of fast food or processed foods, will keep your children developing positive eating habits.

Finally, dinner conversation – any topic – carves times to create precious memories that remain etched into your children’s brains. This forms a bond between you and your child and is incredibly important for their development.

So, take the time to sit down with your children. It may not always be convenient, but it’s worth the effort. Eating meals together is a win/win for everyone.

Sources:
Aha! Parenting: Dinner: 30 Minutes to a More Connected Family
Super Healthy Kids: 10 Benefits to Eating Family Dinner