7 steps to quality family time

So with the holidays coming up I want to talk about what we want for our families. Not just on holidays, but whenever we get some time together throughout the year. The holidays simply provide a good opportunity to take some time to identify our goals and develop some strategies to make them our reality. Are you ready to get started? Get the super easy worksheet here.

Are you a busy mum who loves your time as a family on the holidays but really wants to make sure your precious time together is of the highest quality?

You know you want to make sure everyone gets what they need during this limited family time, but right now you are stuck with how to start planning to ensure everyone (including you) is happy.

I’ve developed 7 simple steps to improve the quality of your precious family time. I will take you through a 20 minute process that will put all your thoughts about your family time on paper and help you clearly see how to improve the quality of your family time.

Step 1: Emotion goals

This is where we identify (in actual words on paper) how we want to feel after we’ve had some time together as a family. Will you want to feel relaxed and rejuvenated, or do you want to feel exhausted from a big weekend hiking up mountains? Do you want to feel more bonded to your family? Do you want to feel reset with some new goals developed for the time ahead?

Step 2: Memories

Identify your favourite family memories. These might be from when you grew up as a child, or ones that you and your family have already made. I want you to think about what you were doing or if there was a special location you were visiting. Does your family love camping, or staying by the beach or climbing mountains?

Step 3: Activities

This step might overlap with the one before, but I want you to be more specific about activities that you want to do together. Here are some ideas:

  • board games afternoon/evening
  • beach day
  • climb a mountain
  • swimming in local pool
  • LEGO building competition day
  • movie day (at home or at the actual movies)
  • craft (if you dare)
  • so many more

Step 4: Regrets

If you can remember back to your last holidays or when you last had some time together as a family, what did you regret not doing by the end of it. If you’re like most mums that I work with, your answer will be something like “more time for me”, “more relaxing time”, “more one-on-one time with the kids” or similar regrets. The reason I want you to identify these regrets is so that you can plan to avoid having them after these next holidays.

Step 5: Traditions

Does your family have any holidays or family time traditions that everyone loves? Early morning surf, wander on the beach at sunset? If you have something you always do when you’re together, make sure you list it here.

Step 6: Individual Needs

Now, this step is super important because I promised you that “everyone will be happy” after you’ve next had family time right? You can’t make everyone happy unless you know how to. So you need to identify what everyone needs (and wants) during this time. Who needs quiet time every day (hands up all us mums), who needs to run off energy every day (hands up all those toddlers) and who needs some time with the friends (older kids perhaps and definitely the parents)? You may even need to make a separate list for everyone in the family for this step, but it will be worth it.

Step 7: New activities

What new activities does everyone want to do these holidays? It might be things as a family, or individual pursuits. Remember as the kids grow up their needs will change and the activities they’re interested in will change. This is normal and within your family you need to teach them how to negotiate and compromise until everyone is getting something they want in this new plan.

So what now? 

Once you’ve completed each of the steps on the worksheet, it’s time to use it to improve the quality of your family time together. Treat it like a shopping list or something to consult each morning when you start wondering what you’ll do today. Send the kids to read over it when they say they’re bored. Don’t forget to grab the super easy worksheet here so that you can achieve the success you want with your family.