Spending time with kids outside of music lessons is imperative. Teaching kids music lessons strengthens the bond between the adult and child. During lessons, the dynamic between the parent and kid changes slightly. Outside of lessons, parents take on a nurturing role that balances out “work” and fun, allowing one to build family memories.
Benefits of Quality Time With Kids
Teaching music lessons benefits both mom and child, allowing them to connect on a deeper level. However, teaching music lessons shouldn’t be the only way of spending time with kids. Finding something you love to do as a family has many benefits and should always be a priority. So what are the benefits of spending quality time with kids?
- Building family memories: Memories of things you do will stay with you and your kids for a lifetime. That’s something no one can take away.
- Turning into a kid at heart: By spending time with your kids it keeps you young at heart. As an adult, playing and having fun is the best medicine for stress.
- Better behavior: Kids who spend time with their parents tend to be better behaved than their peers who don’t. That quality time shows them how to act and behave in a group setting.
- Higher grades: Love and acceptance at home translates into more focus at school. This focus allows kids to perform better and learn more.
- Better communication: When parents spend quality time with their kids and communicate with them through talking, games, or other activities, kids learn to talk with others. They are better able to express their ideas and resolve conflicts.
After scheduling regular music lessons with your kids, put family time on your calendar as well. Your kids will thank you for it.
But how do you find those things and build a family memory from them? Try out ideas such as a regular family game night, movie nights, road trips, cooking together, or whatever you enjoy. The quantity of activities doesn’t matter as much as quality.
Family Game Nights
Family game nights are one of the best ways to spend quality time with kids. It’s not only fun for kids, but parents too. As a mom, I find myself needing to be able to feel like a kid at times. Being able to play and step away from the rigors of being an adult relieves stress and tension.
So between music lessons or practice sessions, schedule a family time to play a game. Pick a night of the week free from other activities like scouts or sports. Find a time, whether it’s while eating dinner or just after cleaning the dishes up. Decide on the game and start playing.
Picking a Game to Play
Sometimes picking the game is the most difficult part of family game night. There are a few ways to go about picking which game to play. One way is to let each person take a week and they pick that day. Another is to have everyone pick three games they would love to play into a hat and draw one out. You could also make a jar with popsicle sticks that have the names of all the games you own whether you have a large quantity of them or not. Then draw a stick out. Play that game, leaving the stick out until you have gone through all the games in the jar.
If game nights are getting boring there are a few things you could do. Check into a new board game. It’s a small investment with big returns of spending time with your kids. A few games I’d recommend for any age is Splendor, Flashpoint Fire Rescue, and Trash Pandas.
Should your family be tired of board games, look into family games such as bowling, yard games, video games, or even card games. These will add variety to game nights.
Whatever games you choose to play, let your kids help with the ideas. Give them a choice about game night even if they pick one you aren’t fond of. Let your spouse have a say some nights. If everyone gets to pick and contribute ideas for family game night, it will become a night the whole family looks forward to each week.
Roadtrips with Kids
Spending time with kids doesn’t have to be limited to activities at home. Another great way to spend time with the family is going on a road trip. Sometimes getting away for a couple of days is a great way to reduce stress and build relationships outside of teaching music lessons to your kids.
Going on road trips can seem like a daunting task, though. There is lots to plan, finances to consider, and let’s not get started on packing. So why would anyone in their right mind want to go on a road trip, little lone with a bunch of kids? To build a family memory, that’s why. And it’s worth it.
So how do you plan a road trip without losing your mind? Get the whole family involved. Sit down together and decide how much you have to spend, then decide where to go. Once you figure out the destination, let the kids help plan the activities. Finding things both parents and kids will enjoy is key.
However, don’t be intimidated or pass off the idea of a road trip because of money. A road trip doesn’t have to be a big, grand vacation. It can be as simple as planning a Saturday away from the house. Pack a picnic lunch, go to the park, play for a while, then maybe hit the movie theater. If a nearby town has some stores not normally available to you, plan a day-long road trip and go shopping.
Maybe you have been teaching the kids some budgeting lessons in addition to music lessons and have saved up for a big road trip. Then plan that big adventure. Any time, whether big or small, you find yourself spending time with your kids is a success.
Dealing With Conflicts When Spending Time with Kids
One of the most difficult parts of spending time with kids is when they fight. Sibling rivalry and strife can ruin any family night quickly. Even though some competition can be healthy, it can produce plenty of stress for parents.
There are a few ways to deal with conflicts. If the conflicts are during music lessons check out the article on keeping calm during music lessons. Outside of lessons, it will just depend on when the conflicts are occurring.
Keeping the Peace During Family Game Night
Fights over family game night can be solved in a few ways. Let one child choose what to play and the next family night the other one chooses. Another way of picking what to play is by drawing out of a hat. Then everyone has an equal chance of their choice being picked, even the parents.
Should game nights be a point of contention because of the competition between people try a cooperative game like Flashpoint Fire Rescue or Pandemic. These require players to work together as a team. Teamwork fosters a healthy competition of wanting to beat the game rather than your opponents.
Fights Over Family Movie Night
Movie nights should be filled with popcorn and cuddles. But what happens when your daughter wants to watch Frozen, your son is adamant you’ll be watching How to Train Your Dragon, and mom and dad just want a slightly more mature movie, say National Treasure. Now what? The peaceful movie night has turned into World War III.
A couple of things can be done. First, just like game night, have everyone pick up to three movies they would want to watch. Then draw one out of a hat. Another idea would be to take turns picking the movie or have a movie marathon where everyone picks a movie and then you spend the afternoon watching each one together.
If it’s your son’s night to pick, let your daughter come up with ideas for snacks. She can pick and help make them. Maybe she wants to veer from the traditional buttered popcorn and do cheese popcorn or chips and salsa. She could set up a concession stand with drinks, candy, and other snacks everyone can “buy” with fake money. Whatever the case, let her choose if her brother is picking the movie.
One final thing, keep the kids separated. This sounds funny but giving them each their own space during the movie will keep squabbling at bay. If you can’t all cuddle on one couch with the parents in the middle, have one kid snuggle with mom while the other sits next to dad.
When Choices Don’t Help
There are many other ways conflicts can arise and how you deal with it will depend on the situation. Giving kids choices and taking turns on picking is always a great start.
If the conflicts escalate too far, separate everyone for a little while. Although this may not be ideal for family time, in the end, it’ll be for the best. After a brief time apart, tempers will subside and everyone should be ready to join the fun again. If the kids take things to far and mom and dad are just done, tell them you will try to have family time the next night.
Building Family Memories
Building a family memory remains one of the best gifts you can give your kids. Although kids like “things”, they will remember the family time spent together more. They likely won’t remember most of the gifts they just received for Christmas, but they will remember the family game nights.
I can say this from experience and I’m sure you could too. Growing up I loved Christmas! I would wake up in the middle of the night from the excitement just to see what Santa had brought. Despite my excitement, I can remember only a couple of gifts from those mornings.
What I remember most about Christmas is baking cookies with my mom, her special egg casserole on Christmas morning, and the drive home on Christmas Eve after spending time with my grandparents and extended family. Notice a theme here? I remember the times we spent doing things to build a family memory more than the actual gifts. How many of you can relate?
It doesn’t matter the quantity of money you can spend on your family times. What matters is that it is quality, meaning free from distractions. Start planning your next family night activity today!
If you have a favorite activity or try one of the things out I mentioned, drop a comment! I’d love to hear what you do to spend quality time with your kids.
If the thought of teaching your kids music lessons is too overwhelming and you are in the Grand Island, NE area, contact me today for piano or flute openings in my private studio.