By Juicy Juice Family Time Expert, Meredith Sinclair
It’s no secret that most of your child’s classmates likely have two working parents. According to a Pew Research Center report, nearly half of all two-parent families work full time. And more than half (56%) of all working parents say the balancing act is difficult. I know how busy life can be, I have two boys, and it can be hard to fit everything in. However, it can be easier than you think to juggle your career and family life.
Take a step back and think about all the times you have at home where you could engage with your child but you don’t. I have two boys and it’s so easy to get caught up in life. Do you get dinner ready, while your kids watch TV or play on the computer, or when you’re in the car do you put on the radio and drive in silence?
Here are a few of my favorite tips to help you carve out Family Time so that it becomes second nature to your daily routine.
- Share the responsibility for 100% family time
It shouldn’t always be one person that plans all the activities. Each week have a different family member come up with at least one weeknight and weekend activity. Make an effort to spend at least one night during your busy week where your squad comes together for nothing but F.U.N. It might be a game night, an upcycled DIY craft such as Juicy Juice™ Juice Box Rockets, an after dinner trip to the ice cream shop, or an afternoon at the park.
For inspiration check out my “100% Family Time Playlist,” a printable template for the fridge, letting each family member add to his or her “playlist” of fun!
- No Phones Allowed
Today kids and adults are always connected. But it’s just as important for adults to put down the phone. Empower your kids to remind you to turn off the phone. And during your Family Time activity make sure it’s a no cell zone so everyone can be 100% tuned-in to each other and the activity.
- Create a “Creativity Cupboard”
Somewhere in your home organize craft materials, blank paper, and more. You do not have to run to the store and spend money; some of the best materials are recycled ones. Try this upcycled polar bear DIY craft using empty Juicy Juice boxes, or make Dinosaur Feet using an empty tissue box.
- Make meal prep family time
I’m all about finding recipes your family enjoys that don’t take a ton of time either. If the prep is quick and easy, your kids will be excited to help out – plus, it leaves you with more time to enjoy the evening together. Get the kids involved in dinner or snack-time with easy-to-make recipes for busy families.
You can also turn meal prep into a math lesson! There’s not a tastier way to learn math than by cooking. You’ll be surprised by how much more fun it is when it’s done together.
From fractions to conversions, kids can learn simple and complex math equations all while measuring out ingredients and following a recipe. For example, young kids can count and sort ingredients (“how many asparaguses are in the bunch?”), while older kids master estimation (“is 1 tablespoon bigger or smaller than 2 teaspoons”), fractions (“measure 1 ½ cups flour using the ½ cup measure”).
- Be flexible: Family time can take the form of a conversation or game on a 10-minute ride to school or the grocery store. I’ve also pushed for carpool time to be a “no phone zone.” Those quick trips to and from school and during errands are the perfect opportunity for light-hearted conversations that connect the “what-did-you-do-today” dots.