Share your love by making these moments count

We all know quality family time is important. Those moments when we’re together, sharing an experience, reminiscing and telling stories, or participating in a favorite tradition, make for some of our sweetest memories.

Yet as technology has become a more pervasive and distracting presence in our lives, it can definitely impact the quality of the time we spend together. As parents, being truly present with our children is essential, not only for the sake of our relationship with them but for their well-being. Making the most of each moment where you’re fully engaged in an activity together allows your kids to feel that they’re loved, that they matter, that they have a supportive place to share their thoughts and feelings. And these moments all add up to happier, healthier kids.

When you carve out time to simply be together as a family, that’s an expression of love that often speaks louder than words. And when you completely unplug, that deepens the joy that you’ll share.

Here are a few suggestions for making your quality time together count.



Be playful and creative
From board games and puzzles to scavenger hunts and craft projects, there’s a world of fun available beyond our screens. Build an obstacle course in the backyard, bake a favorite family recipe or hold your own paint party. You could even try something new together, like learning to juggle or to perform basic magic tricks.



Read together
Take time to read aloud to your kids or to sit quietly side by side lost in your favorite books. Family visits to the local library can also open up new horizons, inspire conversations on a world of subjects and foster appreciation for these vital public spaces.



Perform community service
Schedule family days to help out in your community. Look for specific volunteer opportunities like park clean-ups, animal rescue fundraisers, or food pantry events or contact an organization that supports a cause you care about to see what opportunities they offer. You can even initiate your own projects such as creating care package for the homeless or writing thank-you notes to your local firefighters and police officers.

Contributor: William Lessa is a family therapist and  former president of the executive board for The Center for Parenting Education.”