Family Time

I found an interesting summary of a survey that supports what I have been seeing and hearing from our kids at Bridge Point in the last few years.  Family Circle, 10/01/04, reports that using a large sample of kids grades K-12, the FC survey found the strongest wish of kids was to spend more time with their parents!  “77% of all children surveyed say they wish they could have more time together with their parents.  Yet less than half of the parents (46%) know it.”  Dr. T. Berry Brazelton (pediatrician & renowned expert) says he is not surprised by the results.  As I talk to children I find family time very “squeezed” by parent and child activities and long work hours of the parents. In some families where baby-sitters and nannies are used regularly for the late afternoon and early evening hours the children are staying up later than is good for their bodies and brains just to fit in some family time.  The most common concern of the children, though, is really about having undistracted time with their parents.  The National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University promotes family dinners as a strong way to build communication in families and reduce abuse among teens and children.  Planning the week of meals together on the weekend often sets the stage for the weekly communication time.  The Center suggests that dinnertime be a time of no TV or phone for everyone.  As Deb Hilton can attest, the kids can actually learn to be gourmet cooks for you! Love on your kids bunches and bunches---you are the best thing these guys have going for them!

     Guard Time So You Can Spend it With Your Family

Children thrive when parents spend time with them.  They feel more stable, connected and loved.  This helps them do better in school.  But how can a busy parent find more time?  An organizing expert offers these tips:  

  • Get rid of any thing you don’t need – old toys, clothes, etc.  The less you have, the less time you spend using, maintaining and storing.
  • Don’t waste time looking for things you do need.  Store school supplies, batteries, sewing kit, etc., in easy-to-reach places.
  • Go through your child’s backpack every day.  Look for announcements so you can plan ahead of time.
  • Avoid morning madness.  Have your child place his backpack by the door.  Get him to help pack lunch and organize breakfast at night.  Set out the next morning’s clothes.
  • Handle papers only once.  When mail, a school memo or another paper arrives, read it.  Then toss it, file it or act on it right away.  Do chores as a family.  Make them fun by turning them into a race or weekend adventure.     

Parents make the difference!

Source:  “What Really Matters:  Stephanie Winston

Tells How to Find Time for Your Family”