Everyone, I would guess, has the dream of a happy home. Happy spouse, happy kids, happy family! It is the ideal. And I think we are all striving to make this happen in most cases.
In today’s busy world, full of football practice and lunch meeting, conference calls and ballet lessons, cell phone leashes and computer games, it is difficult to focus on your family life – too many outside distractions. And this is not something that is sheltered from your kids, no matter what their age.
Whether you have one tween son or a gaggle of children 8 and under, you have a child that is looking up to you and wanting to spent time with you – EVEN WHEN YOU ARE BUSY! Even when we are focusing on our marriage to make it strong, which we all know is good for us and the kids, it is important to spend time with our kids. Spending quality, focused time with our kids will not only strengthen our relationship with them but it WILL strengthen our relationship with our spouse.
How is that possible? How can spending more time AWAY from my wife or husband by spending time with the kids strengthen my relationship with my spouse? It’s simple – a strong bond with your kids will help establish a strong bond with your spouse. You have heard the expression “happy wife, happy life?” Well, we all snicker at the saying but, in reality, there is a little truth in the statement and I don’t think its limited to just the wife (though the saying is much catchier than “Happy Husband, Happy Life!”)
There are many studies stating that kids are less stressed, do better in school, and are generally happier when their parents spend quality time with them. Of course, you have to define “quality” for yourself but I am here to say that quality time is time spent with them free of distractions and lectures. Quality time does NOT have a time requirements. It might be 15 minutes a week or a once a month trip. I also believe that quality time needs to differ based on the age and personality of the child. You will have to determine what quality time is for your children. And, yes, that means sometimes, when you have several children, you have to make a concerted effort to spend time with them one on one.
So many once a week isn’t possible when you have 8 kids but that’s ok. Maybe a once a week family walk to the park is quality time with the kids and then very few weeks you spend one on one time with one kids, doing something of their choice and then rotate through the children with private time with you. It does take time but its time well invested. And, yes, you need to put down the mobile phone and not check your work email or your Facebook News feed.
That being said, quality time with kids helps them be calmer, more obedient, and focused, and generally happier. Then you are all those things; therefore, being a better spouse. Calm and happy spouses equal strong marriage, right?
Though it sounds simple enough, it does require dedication and commitment by you. But the results will be worth it. And spending quality time with your kids will help you feel less stressed or guilty when you spend quality time along with your spouse, which is also necessary for a strong marriage.
What else does all this quality time do for your marriage? You are also setting a great example for your kids of a good family life and marriage. This is an investment in the futures of your children.
Don’t let the daily life commitments, challenges, and distractions prevent you from spending quality time with your kids. The strong marriage you will build and keep will be the reward.
How do you ensure you spend quality time with your kids? Do you fell this time is helpful to your marriage? I’d love to hear about your experience.