Make Family Time a “Thing”
Remember the early days of sports – the good ‘ol days when you had one match, game, or competition each weekend and one practice… and that seemed like a lot? Then the commitment grew… to multiple practices and competitive days and more practices and open gyms. And now, you are the incredibly proud parent of a highly competitive athlete – one who, it seems, you don’t get to enjoy often as a family.
Competitive sports are no doubt time consuming. And odds are that your household athlete doesn’t just exit game mode when they leave the gym. So how do you get quality family time?
It isn’t easy, but it is doable.
For starters, even the most competitive, most committed of athletes aren’t in the gym all day every day (even Olympic gymnasts top out between six and eight hours). So take nine hours for the school day, eight hours for sleep, up to three for the gym, and an hour for homework and you still have three hours left in the day – and that’s on a week day! It’s not a ton, but it’s enough to make family time possible.
Family meals may not be possible every day, but make a point to make family dinner happen at least twice a week. Make a “no phones” at the table rule and leave the TV and electronics off. It might only be 45 minutes, but it’s time.
Schedule family fun time on the calendar over the weekend. If it’s on the calendar, it’s more likely to happen. Better yet, make actual plans for that time to do something special – a baseball game or trampoline park night. If you have tickets, people are less likely to bail.
Take advantage of the mornings. Yes, getting everyone ready and out the door for work and school can be chaotic – but everyone has to eat, right? Make sit-down breakfast a thing and sneak in 15 minutes a day. In order to be as highly productive as we want to as a family Tori and I get up at 4:30 every day. It gives us time to wake up and get a large chunk of work, like blogging, done and still make breakfast and be ready to enjoy our kids distraction free for a couple hours.
Create an after-completion family ritual with celebratory froyo or a movie – regardless of how your athlete did.
Sometimes family time might not come with extended periods of time, but by sneaking in time when and where you can, you’ll find that it adds up – even if it’s just 20 minutes a day, that still comes out to 2.5 hours in a week. No matter what you do take advantage of every moment you can get together as a family. Be physically together and help teach the value of family connection to your children.