Mom looks at the weekly calendar posted on the refrigerator and sighs.

“Our three children are involved in so many activities,” she says shaking her head. “Band, football, church choir, tutoring, and a multitude of others school, church, and community projects. How will we find time just to be together as a family?”

Like many homes, it’s difficult to find time for family togetherness. Even meal-time as a unit can be difficult.

According to a recent U.S. Census report, 71 million children and adults are enrolled in the country in some type of educational program. Or, 25.9 percent of the population, ages 3 and older. (U.S. Census report)

With the school population having so many commitments, it’s often difficult to spend time with those we love.

Keep this thought in mind: It takes time and commitment to be a spouse and parent. Setting our priorities and intentionally making that choice may determine how our own families are affected. The parenting style, you as a parent use, is usually the one your child will copy when they become an adult and have their own family.

Here are some suggestions for finding quality time as well as quantity time.

Keep a weekly or monthly calendar posted on a bulletin board or refrigerator. Choose a place the family gathers and they’re likely to be reminded of events.

Parents, keep you commitments to the family. If you agree to attend a ball game or piano recital, honor that commitment. Yes, there are time when your job must come first, but let you child know those time will be rare.

Realize each child is an individual and has different interests and talents. Show appreciation for this God-given skill and offer praise for their uniqueness.

Set aside one night each week for family time. Or, maybe a Saturday at noon will work best for your family. Have a favorite meal with each child taking turns choosing the food. One week, have pizza. Another, hamburgers. Or another one, spaghetti. Play board games, go for a hike, watch a family movie, or participate in a sport. Introduce your brood to new activities and get involved yourself.

Engage children in conversation at meal time. Some parents ask each child to bring to the table a news item, or some historical event they’ve read or heard on TV or the Internet. Conservation skills develop. Thinking about world events increases. Children gain confidence in sharing information within the family. This gives practice as they are asked to speak in front of peers.

Parents are a child’s first and best teacher. Spend time together and enjoy this brief time of childhood. Once lost, you can never recover these years together as a family.

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