Active Family Time – Director of Franchise Development Sean Weldon
Time spent with the family seems to be getting harder and harder each year. Individual appointments, events, activities and work related commitments can present challenges for even the most well-intentioned families.
I often find that even a typical family event, such as dinner, is being interfered with by conflicting individual schedules. Just trying to keep our schedules straight is maddening at times! But the benefits of family time are incredibly important when it comes to a child’s social and emotional development.
So what can you do to have more family time? Be deliberate and create opportunities. Hoping something presents itself isn’t going to work, so being active in planning is key. One of the best ways to spend family time is around physical activities. I know I just complained about the scheduled life of my family, but putting the family on the schedule is really important too and when we do make time, we like to do something active. According to Fitness.gov, “only one in three children are physically active every day.” Google has millions of fitness statistics results that you may read for yourself. What I want to do is share with you some of the things my family does that not only keep us active, but help us develop.
Take a walk! Easier said than done, right? An advantage I have is touting our pet dog to the kids and explaining that part of being a good dog owner is taking your dog on regular walks. I know that this may not sound like much of an outing, but a long walk at a brisk pace is not only great for your body, it also creates many learning opportunities for your children. Depending on your surroundings, you can ask your children questions about nature, architecture, or simply find out how their day at school was. It’s an ideal activity for development because you have a captive audience in a neutral situation where my children really open up about their lives and natural love of learning.
Another activity that we enjoy as a family is snowboarding. If there is one activity that requires a great deal of planning, snowboarding is a perfect example. We often have to plan weeks (if not months) in advance to work around those pesky schedules, but it always seems to be worth it. Snowboarding is a physically vigorous activity. By the end of the day, your body can be exhausted and your kids are telling you they are also tired! This is part of the experience of family fitness, where you have opportunities to exercise and achieve amazing feats as a team. It’s also presents conversation opportunities to have with your kids. Whether it is in the car on the way up the mountain and back or on the long lift rides, you can engage your children on many intellectual levels.
Obviously there are hundreds of options available that will allow you to be active and spend time together as a family, but the key here is planning these events. Staying active while spending time with your family rarely happens by accident!