When was the last time your family spent some good, solid, uninterrupted family time together? Many people reading this may be scratching their heads trying to remember. Only a few years ago, a study reported that American families only enjoyed 37 minutes of quality time together on the weekends. And even more recently, another study indicated that only 50% of family dinners are eaten together.

The truth is that families want to spend more time together, but often don’t know how to start. So, the Metro East Dental Care team has put together some helpful tips so that you can set aside quality family time in Granite City, IL.

How to spend more quality family time together.

You can’t put a price tag on family time. Most parents want to spend more time together as a family, but struggle to fit it in. Today’s families have many competing priorities, from work to school to night after night of kids’ activities. And before many parents know it, the kids have grown up and are heading off to college or the workforce.

But we all know that family time is important for the following reasons:

  • Improves our mental health and reduces stress.
  • Helps children build social skills so that they can make new friends more easily.
  • Helps kids improve their academic skills.
  • Lowers the risk of behavioral issues in kids of all ages.
  • Boosts self-confidence (for parents and kids alike).
  • Teaches kids valuable parenting skills that they can use in the future.
  • Teaches effective conflict resolution skills.
  • Enhances physical health.
  • Lengthens life expectancy.
  • Creates priceless family memories.

So, instead of looking back on all the missed time, check out this list of ways to spend more quality time together as a family right here in Granite City.

1. Check the calendar.

All families have things to do. So take a few minutes to update your family calendar with any commitments that need to be managed over the next few months. Then, identify free days that everyone in the family can block off. Whether you block one afternoon or evening a week, establishing set family time can create memories that last a lifetime.

2. Have a family meeting.

Including everyone in the ideation process is a great way to establish family time buy-in with your partner and kids. So take that first night you blocked off, place an order for the family’s favorite take-out, and ask all family members to come up with one or two ideas for fun family activities—even your two-year-old can contribute to the discussion. Include plenty of ideas for at-home quality time and activities that take you all out of the house together.

3. Establish some fun ground rules.

We’re not talking about rules that involve punishment, though asking all family members to set aside their mobile devices for a few hours isn’t a bad idea. Come up with some fun rules too. For example, the last one ready for your day out needs to run around the house as fast as they can. Or, the first person ready gets to pick where you go for lunch. Whatever your rules, make sure everyone knows what to expect for their day.

4. Include some Granite City-based activities that encourage physical fitness.

It can be easy to develop ideas like a family movie night or game night that keep everyone on the couch or around the kitchen table. Of course, these are all great ways to spend quality family time together, but consider adding in a few activities designed to get you all moving. For example, look for places to go on outdoor walks. Our favorite locations are the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge and Wilson Park Loop. The Mayo Clinic recommends that kids get an hour of physical activity daily. And the truth is that there are so many family fun places to visit in Granite City, so it’s easy to take advantage of the opportunity to go exploring.

5. Think outside of the box.

Let your quality family time become an adventure where you all try something new. After all, what’s the worst thing that could happen? If you don’t all enjoy it, you know to try something different next time. Either way, the experience is priceless, and who knows, maybe your family can laugh over remember that time…? So, throw caution to the wind (kind of). Plant a vegetable garden in the backyard. Or take a yoga class together and learn some relaxation techniques. Whatever you come up with, the key is for it to be focused on quality time spent together as a family.

6. Get your smiles on and capture some selfies.

Remember that rule about putting mobile devices away? We lied. Add one rule to your list of fun rules: devices are allowed if you are capturing fun family moments together. Plus, selfies are a great excuse to smile, and smiles are good for your health. And now is our time to add a shameless plug—if you aren’t satisfied with your smile, talk to Metro East Dental Care about a smile makeover. We can help you transform your smile, so you never miss a family selfie again.

Metro East Dental Care can help you love smiling during your quality family times.

We know how busy it can get. We struggle with it too. So make those moments count when you can. And if you are hiding behind the camera instead of being in family time selfies because your smile is less than you want it to be, know that we can help. Whether you need a dental cleaning or a cosmetic dentistry treatment, we’re here for you. Request an appointment today.