You know the scene well. Your sons have football, baseball, and karate
lessons. Your little girls may have discovered the mall and taken up softball and cheerleading. Your husband is working on a huge project at work and is working overtime. You are just plain stretched too thin.
Family communication is reduced to notes on the fridge and messages on cell phones. When you do get the chance to talk to your kids, they answer you with grunts and noncommittal shrugs. Just as you make time for your favorite activities, you should make sure you keep your busy family connected. This can be accomplished by establishing a few family traditions you can fit into your busy lives.
When a family is busy, sometimes dinner is takeout, leftovers, or microwaved. You may not even be eating at the same time. Dinner is a great time to get everyone face to face and helps keep a busy family connected.
Designate one night a week as family dinner night. This can’t be any dinner, however, you have to make it special. This meal must be cooked from scratch and everyone in the family must be involved in the preparation. You might be surprised how much news everyone has to share while cooking, eating, and cleaning up.
To help keep your busy family connected, go for the board games. Choose one night a week when you can all sit down and play a few board games together. The light hearted fun and playful competition will help you stay in touch with each others lives and conveys the message that family togetherness is important.
Not only will a walk help keep your busy family connected, it will encourage your family to remain active and away from the television and Internet. Make a family date once a week to take even a short walk to remind you how important family support really is.
Your children may already be involved in sports, but finding time to play together will help keep your busy family connected. Not only will it give you time together, it will help promote cooperation, trust, and will reinforce the notion that you can rely on each other.
You might even want to find another family for competitive sport if you can get your schedules to match up. You can also look for community sports programs to get your family involved with, even if it’s just once or twice a month.
Where Are You?
You can help your busy family stay connected by keeping a central place for your family to communicate. Look for a large corkboard to hang somewhere in your home. Make this a central place to leave notes for each other, list schedules of practices, games, club meetings, plays, and other activities.
Still Can’t Get It Together?
If you find you still can’t seem to get the family together, you might want to consider that your family is doing too much. Common sense says busy children have less time to get into trouble, but there is such a thing as being too busy. Children who have too much to do become stressed and overwrought. Their schoolwork and social skills may suffer. If you are having trouble helping your busy family stay connected, consider scaling back on individual activities.