I really shocked at how crazy our life has been for the last month. It feels a lot like a runaway freight train. It just keeps picking up speed. I often I wish for the times when we’d eat supper together as a family and then play a game after the clean up was done. Then the kids would head to bed before 9 and I’d be snoozing by 10. I'm finding that having family time with teens and college kids is super challenging and looks nothing it did when the kids were little!
Busy lives make it hard to have family time
Our older children are involved in lots of things. They have friends and jobs and school.
It makes it really hard to coordinate a night where we are all home. We are super picky about what keeps us away from home! But even then there are not many nights that we are all home—maybe 1 or 2 per week.
Also everyone's schedules are different. Some of us work during the day and some at night(me!). Finding time when everyone is present, awake and ready to do some family fun is not easy.
WHY should you do family time with older kids?
- Being together as a family creates a family culture that will draw us back together as everyone’s lives grow and change though the years.
- If we don’t spend time together then we miss the changes, thoughts and events that everyone is experiencing. It is a time of sharing when we are together. More than what we did for the day but more how it impacted us and made us be who we are right now.
- Hanging out with family is relaxing to me in a way that I never experience with friends. We KNOW each other. The good, bad and ugly. We can be ourselves and not put on any fronts. They are my people and I want to be with them as much as possible.
- By spending time together doing fun activities that we all enjoy(games, taking trips, being outside etc) it creates a positive memory for everyone. Life is HARD and it is good to have family times where we laugh, celebrate and just enjoy the people that are in our lives.
5 ideas for HOW can you be intentional about family time
This is a work in progress in the middle of our scattered messy life but here are few things that we do to be intentional about family time. (We have 1 son who lives 2 hours away and one daughter who is 2 hours away in the opposite direction plus 2 who are still at home.)
Family group texts are super fun and easy to do. My son and daughter in law often share videos of our granddaughter doing cute things.
We LOVE this and it keeps us close despite the distance. Last Sunday everyone shared what they were doing that day.
It seems like a small thing but we all got a laugh about our various activities. A small way to draw closer and keep in contact even with little things.
Make plans to be together. I know that is not a new idea but I’ve found that if we don’t plan it then it will not happen. It can be simple. We’ve driven to my son’s just to have an afternoon hanging out when it has been too long since we’ve seen them. Right now we are planning a visit to my daughter since she hasn’t been home for a few weeks.
Go to them. When family is scattered it is often NOT a fair exchange of who goes to who. I remember that we went to my grandparents as a child MUCH more than they ever came to us. You have to be willing to go and visit to be part of someones life!
Sometimes we have to seize the opportunities when they happen because life is not perfect. This is a big one. If you have an opportunity to be with part of your family but not everyone can be there DO IT ANYWAY. I like to include the missing family member(s) if we can. Ideas for the could be to make a card for them to send the next week or make a call and pass the phone so they can talk to everyone or use skype so they can “be there too”.
Take the ordinary and make it special. We used to share what good happened that day at the dinner table when the kids were little and I still like to ask that so we can celebrate with each child, spouse and grandchild!
Need more ideas for creating family time? Check all these great posts out from the Homeschool Blogging Network!
Ideas for Quality Family Time - Monique @ Living Life and Learning
5 Frugal Family Fun Ideas - Sara at Embracing Destiny
Carve Out Family Time with Halloween Classics - KT at Lit Mama Homeschool
Literacy Tips for the Whole Family - CHB Link-up #3 - Ginny at Not So Formulaic
I’m sure there are tons of other ideas and I would love to hear what you do to create family time with your older children and teens. Chime in on the comments or come share over on the D2D Facebook page!
Above all family time is important. Don’t let it slip away when your kids get older and it is harder to make it happen! Do it, I promise that you won’t regret it!