Investing in Your Family

Families are busier than ever before, so make an extra effort to let your spouse or partner, children, parents, and other special people in your life know how important they are to you. There are lots of ways to do this; here are some to get you started:

  • Make time to listen thoughtfully to your loved ones. Be careful not to jump in with your opinion too quickly.
  • Schedule time alone with each of your children. Let them decide how they want to spend this special time with you.
  • Make a date with your spouse. Plan something special like you did when you were dating.
  • Take your kids for a walk after dark. Look for stars in the sky, and listen for the night noises. Children remember these out of the ordinary times spent with parents.
  • Watch the sun set. Better yet, get up really early and watch it rise.
  • Read books together every day. Don't stop just because your children learn to read.
  • Give lots of realistic, specific praise to your children.
  • Tuck love letters under pillows.
  • Allow each of your children to plan the dinner menu one day each week.
  • Cook together without worrying about the mess you are making.
  • Create a special hand signal that means "I love you" to your family. Use it often.
  • Invite each of your children to go for a ride in the car alone with you. Make your destination a surprise (the park, the ice cream store, etc.), but plan on the ride being half the fun. You'll be amazed at the subjects that your children will talk about in the car!
  • Have a family movie night once a week. Watch a movie that interests everyone, pop some popcorn, and enjoy the time together.
  • Pull out your old board games and have a game night. Include all generations of your family. Some great games are available on DVD or video game consoles too.
  • Show films or photographs from when you were young. Compare them to your children's photos. Share your family history. Encourage your parents to tell your children about things that you did when you were young.
  • Tell every single member of your family how much you love them. Tell them often.
  • Never underestimate the power of a hug!

Be careful to keep family activity schedules from becoming a burden. It's important to have time for some of the little things that create the best memories.

You can see that most of these ideas for busy families do not cost a lot of money, but they do require an investment of your time. Children grow up fast, and the best thing you can give them is an armful of memories to look back on. They will stay connected to you because you took the time to connect with them!

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Workplace Options. (Reviewed 2019). Investing in your family. Raleigh, NC: Author.