Quality family time is an important part of actually enjoying your family relationships. Let’s look at why having fun together matters, and how to make it happen when life is busy.
Quality family time matters.
But gosh, it can be hard to get.
One of the most important parts of family life is having FUN together! If you’re going to enjoy your favorite people, you have to actually spend time with them. And not just time getting the household chores done or finishing the kids’ homework… you need to spend quality family time together, bonding and having fun.
Yet, when life is busy and you’re feeling overwhelmed… having fun together is often the first thing to fall off the list.
There’s just too much going on.
Well, not after today, my friend!
Today, we’re looking at 5 reasons why having fun together matters for your quality family time, plus 5 strategies for how to actually make it happen when life gets busy and overwhelming.
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If you’ve been following along with our deep dive into Proverbs 14:1 and becoming wise women who build up our homes, you may have noticed things have been pretty deep lately.
That is deep, and often hard, stuff!
So today, let’s take things in a lighter – but still really important! – direction.
How do you have FUN together? How do you get that quality family time when the schedule is packed and everyone feels overwhelmed?
What gets in the way of family time
As a counselor, I see a lot of families who are struggling. Sometimes, they’ve having trouble managing emotions, and there is too much yelling, name calling, or arguing. For other families, there is a lack of connection and communication.
But no matter what is going on, one thing that is often lacking is meaningful, fun quality time together.
There are plenty of reasons why.
- The schedule is too full for spontaneous moments together.
- Everyone likes different things and they prioritize those individual activities.
- With so much conflict and tension, no one really wants to be around each other.
- Hurt and bitterness have built up over time.
- They are stuck in a rut and no one is sure how to start doing something different.
Of course, the list can go on and on. Plenty of things – even good things, like volunteer work and spending time with friends – can get in the way of families spending quality, fun, meaningful time together.
Why having fun with your family matters
I could give you plenty of reasons, but these 5 are key. Here are some reasons why having fun, quality family time really does matter.
- These moments create memories, which are building blocks of future connectedness and intimacy. (Let’s face it: inside jokes are the best!)
- Having fun together builds relationship. You’re smiling together, sharing a moment, and bonding.
- Fun times create joy in your family dynamics. Yes, there will be times of disagreement, misbehavior, and conflict. You want more fun times than hard times!
- Laughter and fun help to calm us and distract us from heavy emotions. This can be a great way o break your kid (or yourself!) out of a bad mood.
- Quality family time helps to remind us of the right perspective and positive attitude that help us truly enjoy family life and love our people well.
How to fit in fun family time when life is busy
When life is busy, overwhelming, and stressful, having fun is often one of the first things to fall off the radar.
We just get too busy.
If this has ever happened to you, I hope you know that you aren’t alone! Try these 5 tips for fitting in more FUN even when family life is busy.
1. Put fun family activities onto your schedule
Yes, put it on the calendar! This might feel simple, but when life is busy it can be really, really helpful.
Sure, you might schedule big activities like a family trip to the zoo or to the beach.
But you can also “schedule” reminders for yourself, like making your husband’s favorite dinner on a random Tuesday, or sending a funny emoji text to your daughter on Friday morning.
This might be big activities like going to the zoo, or smaller activities like giving yourself reminders to send a funny text to your kiddo. And if it’s a rainy day and you’re feeling a little stuck on what to do, try an idea from my 25 ideas for free family fun at home post.
2. Keep track of each family's member's favorite things
It is a lot easier to spontaneously have fun with your people when you know what they really love. And, this makes it much easier to prioritize your time and activities well.
Does your daughter love the color purple? You might spy some purple nail polish at the store and pick it up for a rainy day activity.
Maybe your husband loves fishing… but you think it’s boring. You can mentally prepare for an outing next month to surprise him with an afternoon of fishing together.
And let’s be honest – when life is busy and our family is each invested in different hobbies or activities, it is easy to forget these details of people’s lives. It really might help to keep a list somewhere of what people really love. Then you can invest little pockets of time in those specific things, and you know you’ll get quality time because people truly enjoy them.
3. Be willing to laugh at yourself
… and be willing to let your family laugh at you.
Now, don’t get me wrong. OF COURSE it is not healthy, happy, or holy for families to laugh at each other in a mean way. I’m not saying that you should be doormat and let your family make fun or you or put you down!
What I am saying is that laughter is a wonderful medicine for bringing quality family time into your ordinary days.
When you trip over another lego on the floor, you have a choice. Do you get annoyed (and then lecture or yell)? Or you could give a heavy sigh, pick it up, and go about your day? But it’s also an option to exaggerate the fall, make a comedic face, and laugh at your own clumsiness.
You probably don’t want that humorous reaction every time, but on occasion, it can bring a smile to everyone’s face. Your humor could turn a potentially frustrating moment into a fun moment of shared laughter instead.
There will be plenty of opportunities for spontaneous fun as you go about your days together, but only if you have a positive attitude and you’re willing to have fun in the middle of chaos!
4. Be ready for the rainy days
Another idea for squeezing in quality family time when you have a chance is to always be ready. Because here’s the sad reality of life. Eventually, things go wrong.
Someday, your family will get sick. After that, the weather will be horrible. On occasion, you’ll be stuck in a traffic jam on the highway.
You can’t always predict when it will happen, but you know that eventually it will happen. That’s just life.
Sure, these are great opportunities for boredom, whining, and gritting your teeth… But if you’ve already thought ahead for some fun questions, activities, or games, these can be fun moments instead!
Have some ideas ready-to-go for the unexpected moments of life that need a little extra fun.
If you’re looking for ideas, check out some of my quick printables in the Etsy shop:
5. Turn ordinary moments into fun
Yes, you have to cook dinner. Fold the laundry. Take out the trash. Pick up the kids’ playroom.
But do these have to be boring chores that you just check off a list?
Turn them into a game or competition.
- Who can fold their t-shirts the fastest?
- Can your child help you take out the trash without stepping on any cracks in the sidewalk?
- Should we toss the legos into their bin “slam dunk” style or with our eyes closed to see if we can make it?
Chores can become games. Dinnertime is a chance for a silly interview, a family devotional, or reading a book out loud together. Sitting in carline with your toddlers is an opportunity for a fun sing-a-long.
There are so many ordinary moments of life that you can turn into fun quality family time.
One more piece of the family fun puzzle
Can I mention one more element of having fun as a family? An investment that you can make in having more quality family time?
Don’t forget about self care, friend.
You’re going to struggle to have fun with your family if you are burning out. Family time won’t happen, but you won’t be emotionally and mentally present if you’re too exhausted, stressed, or discouraged. And that isn’t really “quality” family time.
So make sure to take time every day to care for yourself!
Figure out what makes YOU smile, and put that in your schedule as well.
- And if you’re struggling to even come up with ideas for what to do for self care, make sure to grab my free 51 Self Care Ideas list.
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Disclaimers: I am a licensed therapist but my podcast, blog, and resources are not professional or personal advice. I am an affiliate for many of the resources that I link to, and may earn a small commission if you purchase through my link. Read my full disclaimer here.