Everyone’s time is limited and we all want to make the most of our time together. As a family or as a couple we want to really have time to “be with” each other enjoying each other and the specific activities we choose to do together.
The dynamics on how to decide how to spend time together as a couple or as a family are more similar than you might think. Below are some things to consider as you try to decide what to do with the time you have to spend together either as a couple or as a family.
1. Consider everyone’s interests and things they like to do. This may or may not be completely evident. If not, this could be a good family meeting discussion or a good couple discussion.
2. Consider how you decide what the family or the couple does together. Many families and couples find that taking turns can feel fair and can help to eliminate some one from feeling like they never get to do what they enjoy or from feeling like they are being drug from one thing to another. This can also mean everyone has to build up some tolerance in being involved in an activity that is not their first choice. But participating in an activity that another family member feels passionate about can be very connecting and supportive. Remembering everyone will have “their time to choose” can help.
Choosing activities collaboratively in which you try to find something that everyone has some interest in can be a respectful way to honor each other’s time.
Communicating about “how to decide” can be a good activity in itself. You can decide what fits best for you and your partner or your family.
3. Consider the developmental level of children, if this is a family activity. Is their attention span a match for the activity? Is their activity level a match for the activity? Is it their best part of the day to participate in an activity outside of the home? Is the length of the activity right for the children?
4. Consider if this is a couple’s activity, will we be able to communicate and spend one on one time with each other with this activity? Of course at times you may want to be involved in an activity that is a performance or activity that is not particularly interactive. Including time after to talk about and connect can be helpful in these kinds of activities.
5. Consider the amount of time you have to do an activity together? Choosing something that fits can make the time together more enjoyable. Feeling rushed can very much dampen your time together. On the other hand, planning a short activity is much better than not doing things together. Short bursts of time together can help you stay connected.
6. Consider your energy level? Do you want something relaxing? Or do you want something stimulating? Or are you in the mood to learn something new? Do you want to stay close to home or venture out-of-town? Or would you just like to stay home and do something together as a couple or as a family? All things to think about.
Best wishes in choosing what is best for you and your partner or family!