How to Maximize Family Time
How to Maximize Family Time on the Weekend
"The best gift you can give your kids is a strong marriage," says relationship therapist Laura Berman, Ph.D., host of the OWN showIn the Bedroom With Dr. Laura Berman. "So why not set the alarm clock for 20 minutes of alone time?" If you're thinking,Um, I'd rather be sleeping, at least "cuddle in bed for five minutes before starting your day," Berman says.
Put "hang out" on the calendar — in Sharpie.
"Research links family leisure time with emotional bonding," says Eli Karam, Ph.D., president-elect of the Kentucky Association for Marriage & Family Therapy. "Blocking out three hours together even one Saturday a month can keep you in sync."
Ditch the cruise-director act.
You've had breakfast — now what? "The most fun activities come about in the moment," Karam says. There's nothing wrong with throwing the gang a few options, but everyone should have a vote, and try to stifle the urge to Get Things Done. A rousing game of Bananagrams? Building the best sofa-fort known to man? Sounds pretty great to us!
Know when it's time to go.
All this said, if you stay in your pj's too long, you risk an ugly case of cabin fever. The best way to avoid inertia is to fill your travel mug with coffee and grab some fresh air, says Rebecca Cohen, author of . "If your kids are little, take them on a walk around the block to collect rocks," she says. If they're older, have a "walk and talk" session where you plan the rest of your day...on foot.
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