Priorities can sometimes get mixed up in this crazy world of cell phones, computers, and gadgets. It’s easy to say that we have gadgets to make our lives easier. But, do you ever find yourself so stretched thin that you don’t have time for the important people in your life, your family? During the month of October, which is National Work and Family Month, let’s take the time to slow down and enjoy each other. It’s not a balancing act, but a concerted effort to make it a priority.
1) Eat breakfast and dinner together. Even if it’s cereal in the morning, sit down together as a family and talk about what your plans are for the day. You’ll be amazed at the little gems you learn.
2) Keep your romance alive by sending your spouse a text or email on a break or lunch. This lets them know you are thinking about them. Hire a babysitter and spend the evening or weekend away from the world. Talk to each other about your relationship before you discuss finances and your children.
3) Visit a local museum, attraction, or park together on a Saturday. The leaves are beginning to change and they are magnificent. Take a drive to enjoy the colors together.
4) Does your job allow you to work from home or work longer days to have an extra day off? Use that time to spend time together.
5) Interview your children on a monthly basis. This gives them time to talk to you about their concerns. This is not a time for parents to criticize behavior, but a time to find out what your children are worried about.
6) Go to a local pumpkin patch or corn maze. What fun times it is to pick out a pumpkin, design and cut it out, and to feel the gooey insides as you pull out the seeds. Teach them to toast pumpkin seeds.
7) Turn off the TV and computer, everyday, to enjoy games like checkers, chess, and tickle fights. Your kids will remember those times as wonderful memories to regale as an adult.
8) Teach your children how to work. Even at age 2 a child can pick up their clothes and put away dirty diapers. Chores teach responsibility, routine, and discipline. They are better prepared to attend school. Future teachers and employers will appreciate the time you took as a parent to teach these characteristics.
There’s a song that I heard as a young child from the movie Saturday’s Warrior, the words go a little something like this, “Pulling together we can work it out, all alone we just can’t make it, by ourselves we’ll fall behind, if we lift and pull together, we can help each other out.” Work and play will forge the relationships that we have with our families for eternity.