Monday, December 31, 2012

Grab your Shiny New Calendars and Let's Plan!

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Researchers have studied parent child communication to evaluate the quality and quantity of dialogue in families.  The results might startle you.  Once we remove the "Brush your teeth" directional speech and "Please look at me when I am talking" correctional language, our American families are clocking in at less than 8 minutes a day of meaningful conversation.

Here is what is taking up our family time:

1. Structured Activities/Sports
2. Homework/Studying
3. Internet/Cell Phone

You could make an argument that all of these things have varying degrees of importance to your family.  You do not necessarily have to eliminate any of the time consuming activities to create time, but you will probably have to develop some limits on activities that are competing with meaningful connection as a family. 

How are parents beating the national average? Intentional planning!

Some ideas for scheduled family time are:

1. A certain number of at home family dinners per week.
2. Stay up late night for each child for undivided parent time.
3. Taking your child out to lunch (or dining in the school cafeteria).
4. Family outings on the weekend.
5. Volunteering together.
6. Special projects (Organizing the play room?)
Don't feel guilty - chances are you are already doing some planned family time, but I bet you can improve on family time this year. I like to start off my new year with a shiny blank calendar.  The little boxes are fresh with possibilities. 

What's your story for 2013? How will you spend your time? Will those empty dates get filled with meaningful commitments?  The choice is up to you.

Please share your 2013 thoughts about family time.


  1. We made our 2013 goals and engaging with our children more made the list. Thanks for some great ideas.

    Oh, and I do love a shiny new calendar!

  2. Thanks for sharing your plans Brandi!

  3. I like it - I'll pass this on to clients - thanks!