How to Make Family Time, Every Day

Families put a lot of effort into the weekends because it seems like the only time to give the kids in our lives undivided attention. However, experts say that kids need to also reap the benefits of daily bonding. 

It is important to have playtime, downtime, and family time spread throughout the entire week. But-how do you do it when your lives are naturally hectic and busy!? Check out this great article from SmartParenting to see how to incorporate bonding throughout the entire week!
Below is one of their multiple times for making time throughout the week: 

1. Playtime
“Parents may not realize that playtime is really where so many of the important life skills are built,” said Pope. Free-form play (where a child is free to decide how he wants to play) is “unstructured time when they can explore who they are, what kind of person they want to be, what it means to be a good friend, how to solve problems or navigate conflicts.” 

Just make sure that your child's free time is being used for play. “Watching TV for three hours each day may be detrimental to kids, but spending unstructured time playing with friends or family is associated with positive outcomes,” said Pope in her co-authored book Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids with Maureen Brown and Sarah Miles.

How to: 
Young children
“Set aside time to play with your child and don’t allow interruptions -- no cell phone, no TV, no business calls during this time. Your full attention to him during play time will go a long way for you and him,” educator Regina C. Licauco told Smart Parenting

Older children
Don't over-schedule kids with extracurricular activities, said Pope. Let them be kids and allow them to hang out with friends, ride bikes at the playground, and explore nature at a park. Essentially, let them choose what they want to do with their playtime.