By Kurt Hansbury

The author Gretchen Rubin says this about kids: “The days are long but the years are short”. This is never truer than in the case of quality family time. In today’s busy world of deadlines and extracurricular activities and technology, it’s very easy to get lost in the shuffle and forget what’s is truly important in life. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to comingle our modern world with memories that will last forever.

Contrary to popular belief, your kids will be less interested in how much money you spend on them than how much time you spend with them. There are many things to do together as a family that doesn’t cost money. If the weather is permitting, combine bonding with exercise and go on a nature walk or a bike ride. It might also be fun to explore your neighborhood. Many cities participate in local events like First Friday, which brings a sense of community and shows off a city’s artisanal flair.

Another option is to stay at home. Cooking meals together as a family will not only save money in the long run, it will also provide a more nutritious meal for everyone. In addition, the process of cooking itself has been used across the world for thousands of years as a natural way of bringing people together. Social actions are always centered around food, no matter which culture you come from.

As well as preparation, eating together as a family is also extremely important. There are countless studies that prove frequent meals eaten together encourages a stronger self of security and stability for children as they grow up, with some adolescents choosing to not seek out risky behavior.

In addition to quality, there is also the constant debate over quality. There are only so many hours in a given day and sleeping and eating should take just as much precedent as studying. While there are countless choices in the worlds of athletic and musical departments, in addition to a litany of others, it’s important to not overwhelm kids with too many additional requirements. It defeats the purpose of giving them a better life if they’re too tired to enjoy it. If everyone is too busy throughout the week, take advantage of weekends to do something relaxing with your kids, even if it’s just for an hour. Even a chore wheel is a form of family time, and it teaches kids how to be responsible adults.

In addition, screen time is no longer being stigmatized as an arch enemy. Family screen time via a movie night can actually be a wonderful way to spend time together.