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Spending Time with Families

Some of my best childhood memories are those of spending time with my family. We would sit around the dining room table playing games such as Rummy, Royal Rummy, Pay Day, and Chinese checkers. On the nights that Grandma babysat, we would play 20 questions, I spy or charades. We didn’t take family vacations, but we did take day trips. On the Fourth of July, we would travel to Wisconsin Dells. There was annual trip to the zoo and we would always spend at least one day at the County Fair each summer. I can remember those days like they were yesterday. Spending time with my family was an important part of my childhood.

Having quality time to spend with one’s family should be a priority. Unfortunately, the opposite appears to be true. Statistics show that on average, people are working longer hours. These longer work days result in approximately 45 minutes of lost family time each day. This is time that can never be gotten back. Research shows that quality family time fosters feelings of belonging in the family unit. Families that spend time together are more understanding and supportive of one another as well. Spending time with one’s family sends a message of love. It demonstrates that a parent cares enough to be present in the lives of his or her children.

There are many reasons people give for not spending time with their family. Perhaps individuals feel they have to work the extra hours to be able to afford the lifestyle their family has become accustomed to. Often times, children are involved in so many extra curricular activities that there is not time for the entire family to be together. In some situations, parents just aren’t willing to give up the lifestyle they were accustomed to before they had children. The reasons may vary, but the results are the same. Quality time together as a family is sacrificed.

The first step to solving this problem is to make spending time with your family a priority. Put spending time with your family on your list of things to do. If the time is not built into your schedule, it probably won’t happen. Perhaps you will designate every Wednesday night as family night. If you’re not ready to commit to once a week, try for one day a month. Every bit of time counts. Turn the television off and devote all of your attention to your family.

There are many different activities families can do while spending time together. Families can play board games, bake cookies, take a walk in the woods, or camp out in the backyard. Families can use this time to talk to one another, teach some type of lesson, or simply read a book together. Resources are available on the Internet for families searching for more educational type activities. Month by month calendars of literacy activities are available on the Wisconsin State Reading Association’s website. Go to www.wsra.org, click on calendars, then calendar of ideas. Families can also choose to participate in special events. Look in your local paper for any up coming events in your community. Make spending time with your family a priority.

Spending time with my family was an important part of my childhood. I wouldn’t have those happy memories if my parents hadn’t decided to make spending time together as a family a priority. We all want the best for our children, so why wouldn’t we make them a priority in our lives? Show your family how important they are to you. Spend time with your family.


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