Our memories made spending time together as a family is something we forever cherish.
Doing family rituals, cooking favourite meals, playing board games or perhaps lounge-room talent shows are some examples of quality family time we may reflect on from our childhood and are unique to every family.
As a parent, it is hard to juggle all the day-to-day tasks and it can sometimes be hard to prioritise quality time to spend with our children, being truly present in the moment, away from technology and other distractions.
This week (15-21 May) is National Families Week - a time to celebrate the meaning of family and to make the most of family life.¹
To mark National Families Week we caught up with Kelsey, from CatholicCare Victoria’s Family Mental Health Support Service, to share family activities and the importance of being mindful whilst spending time together.
Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment with our whole body, mind and emotions.²
Practising mindfulness while spending time with family, allows us to give our children our full attention.
Kelsey explains the importance of dedicating this uninterrupted time,
“Spending quality time together away from technology allows your child or young person to have better emotional regulation and social behaviours; it helps promote resilience, improves emotional intelligence and communication skills.”
Engaging in an activity that the family enjoys doing together provides further support for children to grow and learn,
“This time together will promote positives relationships with other family members and peers. It can also lead to fewer outbursts and better repair when there is conflict. Dedicating quality time can help shape our children and young people into becoming the most amazing person they can be,” shares Kelsey.
For this National Families Week, take a little break from technology and prioritise some time to do something together as a family! It might be one of the activities listed below or something else your family enjoys!
- Create art, music, food or Lego together to strengthen your connection with each other. Ask your child what they would love to do with you and make a list/jar/book of the ideas for your family
- Create a family gratitude journal to record good thoughts throughout each day
- Turn the music on and throw a family dance party
- Schedule family playtime – bounce on a trampoline, go for a walk in nature, go for a bike ride, play board games or hide and seek etc
- Have a mindful dinner – really taste the flavours, savour smells, explore textures and discuss with the family
- Enjoy family yoga time before bed. E.g. create your favourite animal sleep poses, hold for 10 breaths each. You can even practice snoring like different animals whilst in the pose – lots of laughter and connection time before bed
- Create a Mindfulness Glitter Jar; the bits of glitter swirling around are like all the thoughts and feelings in your brain. Do you see that when you keep the jar still the glitter starts to settle? This is exactly what will happen to your thoughts and feelings if you sit still and be calm and breathe.²
Mindfulness Glitter Jar Instructions
You will need:
- 1 empty jar with a lid and no labels
- Some hot water
- 2 tbsp of glitter glue
How to make it:
- Pour the hot water into the jar and add the glitter glue
- Put the lid on and shake up the jar.
Kelsey | Case Manager, Family Mental Health Support Service
Jenny Phillips | Communications Officer – External Communications Lead
¹ National Families Week
² Building a more mindful family, activity book