Family Time

by Susan

Our-little-family

It amazes me just HOW much little children cherish family time.

Maybe it’s because I mostly remember my preteen and teen years and how at those ages we all tend to fight against forced family time… but I am astounded at how much little ones crave activity with ALL their loved ones joining in at the SAME time.

For my girls, going to the swimming pool becomes so much more special if Mommy AND Daddy come along. A trip to the library is better with both Mommy AND Daddy.

I have to admit, I used to try to increase productivity by having one of us take the girls to do an activity while the other one got some work done. But I finally have given in and taken weekends as full-time family time.

My girls love it. (But it is hard not getting any work done on the weekends. My rocking horse and pedal car stores are suffering from it and my inbox grows during the weekend neglect.)

This last weekend we ALL went to the library twice, we relaxed at the shopping mall and let the girls enjoy multiple rides on the coin operated merry go rounds. We went swimming, went out to eat, and read stories for hours.

I can feel the investment in our family paying off. It is worth it.

So I’m wondering, what activities do you and your family do together? What ages are your children — are they still loving family time? I’m curious to hear what family time is like for families with older children (since mine are only 4 and 2).

And please let me say, that in this post I refer to Mommy AND Daddy simply because that is what our family includes. I do NOT mean to say that all families must include two parents or that family time is not as meaningful without. Clearly family time is about having a child’s loved ones together.

 
Written by Susan, Professional Mommy Blogger and Co-Founder of
5 Minutes for Mom
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Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tarasview January 20, 2010 at 12:44 pm

oh all three of my kids (boys age 6 & 7, girl age 3) LOVE it when the 5 of us are all together. It makes all the difference for them. We go to the library together and swimming together and read lots of stories too :) My boys like playing with their friends from our street on the weekends so all weekend so I still get a chance to do stuff while they play. The fact that my husband is a minister comes in very handy because his hours of work are often very flexible and at weird hours. He does a lot in the evenings after the kids are asleep but that means he can come play with us all right after school :)

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2 Tarasview January 20, 2010 at 12:49 pm

by the way, I love that picture of your family- I love how the girls are all squished together. So darn cute :)

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3 Deb - Mom of 3 Girls January 20, 2010 at 1:05 pm

My girls love when the five of us do things together, although Abby’s still only 8, so hasn’t quite hit the ‘not wanting to be seen with parents’ stage, lol. Or maybe it’s just that with Ron’s crazy work hours we don’t get a whole lot of true ‘family’ time with all of us. And when we do, we struggle with what to do or where to go. Especially this time of year when the girls really need to get out and run, but options are limited. We usually end up at the mall or the library, just because they don’t cost anything. :)

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4 Mom24 January 20, 2010 at 1:08 pm

You’ll never regret making it a priority. My kids are 25, 17, 9 and 7. Family time’s important to all my kids, be it going somewhere together, playing Wii, watching a movie, doing a puzzle, playing a game, whatever. Togetherness is important to them. Even though my 25 year old lives hours away with his own family, he still makes it a priority to come back and see us once a month. I’m very lucky, but I also know it’s because we put the investment into family time when they were little.

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5 Suzanne (Crunchy green Mom) January 20, 2010 at 1:19 pm

I have kids that range from 2 – 18 years.

We have Game Night Thursdays with the teens. They LOVE it!

We eat dinner together every night, even without a kitchen table, toddlers are at the bar, teens are on the window seat, I’m sitting on steps, we talk, a lot!

With my toddlers, there is a lot of sibling time, with Mommy there is outings, going to the park/gardens/walk. Whatever….

The family always sits and does things together, projects, etc :)

It doesn’t change at the ages, at least not with my kids. My kids still get excited to go to Disney on Ice… even the teens. Family time at a young age, helps them want it when they get older!

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6 Pamela M. Kramer January 20, 2010 at 1:20 pm

That’s a sweet photo! Beautiful family.

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7 Camille January 20, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Our family consists of two little girls and myself. And they do crave that time with me! And, I’ll be honest – I’m taking advantage of it because I know once those pesky teenage years come, they won’t be asking for it as much!

Great topic! And cute family picture!!

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8 Buffie January 20, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Right now we have a 2 year old and a baby on the way. Family time for us right now ranges from reading time to going to the park to playing playdoh at home. It’s pretty much whatever activity we’re up to doing as a family. We do also have dinner together every night and we get together with my parents and brother every other week for a family game night.

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9 Jules January 20, 2010 at 3:09 pm

You know what? Our kids are in their 20s and are still like that! They are always asking us to go places and do things with them. We love it. Wouldn’t have it any other way… Keep it up

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10 Shannara January 20, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I don’t remember how I got here, but I like beeing here. =)

I’m a single mom with six kids, four boys (10½ yrs, almost 6 yrs, 4 yrs and 6 months old) and two girls (almost 13 yrs and 2 yrs old).

For the moment I’m a stay at home mum, have been since march 2004.

Familytime for us are just beeing together, skate, visit the mall, watch a movie, play some games and read books. We used to go swim every second week before the baby came, by now it’s a little bit hard because I don’t have enough arms! =)

By the way, we live in Sweden and in my blog I write most in swedish, but if you check out the posts named All about kids you can read a summary of our week.

Have a nice week everybody!

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11 Susie's Homemade January 20, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Both my girls love family time…even my 19-year-old…loves to play the Wii or go out to eat or watch TV or family game night:-)

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12 Susan January 20, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Thank you Ladies so much for your feedback.

I’m thrilled to hear how many of you have teens who still enjoy family time.

I especially love what Suzanne (Crunchy green Mom) said:

“It doesn’t change at the ages, at least not with my kids. My kids still get excited to go to Disney on Ice… even the teens. Family time at a young age, helps them want it when they get older!”

That is very encouraging and such a reminder that this time investment now is truly worth it.

Thank you!

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13 amyz5 January 20, 2010 at 5:06 pm

i love this post and i am thrilled to see so many families with teens and young adults who are cherishing their time together. my kids are 17 and 20 and I can honestly say that we laugh more with each other than in most social situations.

and yes, i agree that when you set the tone at an early age it is what seems like the norm to them. we have always eaten dinners together (sometimes at ridiculous hours due to schedules) but dinner with music playing is what they know.

in my book, two most important things you can do as a parent
1. read to your kids
2. family dinners

thanks for a great post.

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14 Molly January 20, 2010 at 5:20 pm

We really like to cook together as a couple, and we’ve begun to share that with our 2-year-old. She enjoys filling and dumping measuring cups, putting ingredients into bowls, etc. – even just hearing about what we’re doing. If we’re chopping veggies or garlic, we talk about it and tell her why we’re chopping them for the recipe. She just soaks it all up!

Thanks for sharing your article.

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15 Lena January 20, 2010 at 5:22 pm

My girls are 3 and 5. They love family time, just hanging out at home watching a movie, playing board games, going to the playground or the beach. They don’t care what we do, as long as we do it together!

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16 Charissa January 20, 2010 at 7:18 pm

My teen still enjoys family time, watching movies, playing games amd so on.

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17 Tracey January 20, 2010 at 7:31 pm

My kids do love family time. We love having sleepovers on the family room floor or they like to pile into our room for a sleepover. Mainly, the things that allow us all to talk more are the ones that leave the biggest impressions. The movies and stuff are great, but don’t leave time for talking as much.

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18 Muthering Heights January 20, 2010 at 10:07 pm

My kids are still wee little – 3, 23 months, and 6 months – so our special family time often just consists of playing together!

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19 Happy January 20, 2010 at 11:44 pm

I have always been a tad intimidated to comment over here, but I had to say a word or two on this. My kids are 3, 2, and almost two months. But my step-daugthers are 13 and 11 and they LOVE family time. They crave it and savor it and embrace it. Sure, they enjoy doing things with their friends, but they need time with us and aren’t embarrassed by that need at all. Its often been hard to make that time possible for them as we like you have tried to “kill two birds with one stone” for lack of a better phrase.

However, we’ve been diligently setting aside family time even if it just means family game night and the kids love it!

Good for you guys and hope it will continue well into your children’s teen years!

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20 Merry120 January 20, 2010 at 11:59 pm

Evan loves family time. We have been in the habit recently of both my hubby and I putting him to bed. He loves it (though Mommy has to read the books!). Also, this weekend, my stepson said that he really liked how we all eat breakfast together on the weekends they are at our house. They don’t do that at their mom’s house. He’s 11 so I was surprised he really liked it.

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21 Linda Kish January 21, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Beautiful family. Enjoy all the time you can with them. When my son was 44 he said it was my fault he was an only child so it was my responsibility to play with him. I never forgot that.

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22 Nancy T. January 21, 2010 at 6:18 pm

My family’s (boys ages 3 and 6) favorite time is when we play Rock Band on the Wii! Even the 3 year old gets into it, though we secretly turn off whatever instrument he’s playing so we don’t get booed off the stage ;) The 6 year old as actually getting pretty good at the drums.

They love spending time together as a family and trying to divide and conquer often doesn’t work when they beg us to all go together.

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23 Kelli January 22, 2010 at 11:54 am

I am always home, so not much of a commodity, but my husband works long hours. THe boys (10, 7, and 3) love when he is home and love to go do things as a family.

We especially like vacations when mom isn’t on the computer all the time and daddy is with us. :-)

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24 Margaret January 22, 2010 at 2:38 pm

My kids are 16 and 9 (well we have a 29 yo too but he has his own family!). It’s hard to pin my 16 yo down but if we do, we usually do a family movie night. My and my 9 yo usually do one every Friday anyway. But Hubby is not always around, he works a LOT of hours. We are working on getting him to take more time off so we can do family things! In the summer it’s easier because we all go to the park together, they fish and I read and take pictures!

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25 Lorie Shewbridge January 24, 2010 at 12:05 pm

My boys are almost 19 & 22 and live almost 1200 miles away from us (the oldest is on his way to Afghanistan for a year as he is in the Army), but when they visit, they still love spending time with us playing card, board games, picking citrus fruit, and especially going to Disney World!!

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26 Stephanie January 26, 2010 at 4:15 pm

First, that’s a super cute photo of your family! You guys look relaxed and happy.

Second, I think it is awesome that you take off weekends for family time. Good for you!

We sometimes “divide and conquer” (one parent works while the other plays with the girls…), but we also cherish our family time together. We like to go on long walks and bike rides, go to the park, hang out with friends, or travel. :)

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