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Quality Family Time
Quality vs. Quantity
I have been an entrepreneur for most of my life. This has meant spending over twelve hours per day working at times. In 2010, I went back to school to accomplish the dream of becoming a physician. While this was a fully supported family decision, this meant not only burning the candle from both ends but also being away at school, three hours distance, from my wife and our children all week long. Emotionally it was an extreme struggle for all of us. I would call home throughout the day to say hello. I would send e-cards between classes and we would skype each evening before bed.
This was the easy part. The tough part was balancing studies and family time while at home on weekends. It helped studying for a practical exam as our kids made great practice patients. They loved being patients for me and really enjoyed using my medical kit of toys (equipment).
As a family though, my wife and I took the kids everywhere. We found as much time as we like to spend with one another, it's just as wonderful, if not better at times, to spend it with them. I recall fond memories of taking our daughter to Costco just to taste samples and play, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, using the shopping cart as a dingy (small boat), as we eluded Captain Hook and Mr. Smee.
-James Goetz (New Jersey)
My wife and I began a children's organic baby care company called, GlowGenics Organic Baby Care. We developed a unique organic baby care baby wash line that used only organic and essential ingredients. Many so called organic baby companies use a plethora of un-necessary ingredients that overwhelms the system, not allowing particular ingredient or two do as they are intended. Other organic baby care washes still use non-organic ingredients, such as sodium benzoate. Our children are a huge part of GlowGenics Organic Baby Care as they help fill and process orders and even help label bottles and secure the packaging. Their favorite part though is using the organic baby wash. I must say they are right! GlowGenics Organic Baby wash is so awesome that my wife and I use it ourselves on a daily basis. GlowGenics Organic Baby Care has been a fun activity, bringing us closer together as a family.
While I am not stating by any means that the way to bond with your children is to start an organic baby care company, there are some points to consider with regards to quality family time.
Give it a Try
1. Read Together.
Either read to your children, have them read to you or sit quietly reading separate but together in the same room. Each way has it's benefit. Reading to our child provides a soothing tone of your voice to calm them. the story helps you bond and gives you talking points later on. Them reading to you helps them develop their own reading skills as well as provide conversational pieces for the both of you. By reading separately but together, your child develops independence while still feeling secure in your presence. It's a win/ win scenario.
2. Set a designated board game night.
We began doing this on Saturday evenings. What an awesome time we all have! From Candy land to Monopoly, the kids develop a healthy sense of competition wile learning sportsmanship and having fun as a family.
3. Turn off the television, especially at the dinner table.
When the TV is on, the human mind is off. We are zombies while watching TV. The idea of watching TV at the dinner table is like taking a date to the movies on your first time out. There's no way to get to know one another if you're both zonked out like a zombie.
4. Do a project together.
Start a company like GlowGenics Organic Baby Care or try something a bit more low key such as building with blocks, coloring, organizing a closet or doing the laundry.
5. Turn off the car radio and talk about anything or play a game.
6. Play a favorite song and sing a long.
My daughter once enjoyed the song, Spice Up Your Life, by the Spice Girls. We would sing separate parts while dancing. The silliness is so worth it!
7. Go on a day trip.
It can be to the local park, the beach or literally anywhere your feet or a set of wheels can take you. The best part is, it doesn't have to cost you a cent while the experience is priceless.
8. Say yes when your kid asks for attention.
Your smartphone won't matter in ten years from now when they are in college.
Children and family are such great blessings. Enjoy each moment for that moment is short and it will be but a distant memory. Make that memory a positive one!