Did you know Webster’s Dictionary recently announced they had the spelling of “togetherness” wrong all this time? They amended it with the correct spelling: T-I-M-E.

Ok, not really! But here’s my point: family is the single most important influence in a child’s life and time is your most valuable resource.

Now, if you have young toddlers at home, you may feel you have more than enough time with your little one (in fact, is it bedtime yet?). But if your kids are in school, you’re likely juggling the demands of homework, PTA duties, work, sports and SO much in between that it can be a struggle to see your kids, let alone have quality family time.

Rest assured you’re not alone. It’s reported that families spend about eight hours a week together on average. (Yikes!)

Spending time with your kids might feel difficult but there are easy ways to make it happen every day and the benefits are immeasurable.

Check out Maria’s Pinterest Board for tons of easy family time crafts and activities.

Take it to the next level with this FREE Family Fun Challenge. Maria created it when she and her husband needed something to spice up their time with the kids. Print the challenge and see if you can check every item off the list this month.

As for those benefits I eluded to above? Check it out:

  • Children who spend quality time with their loved ones have self-confidence and are generally more resilient people. That’s because they have the chance to learn in a safe and supportive environment. Let them make mistakes and instead of being critical, let them find solutions on their own.
  • Studies show that when families spend quality time together, the chance of children getting involved in dangerous activities drops dramatically.
  • A 2012 study surmised that children who ate regular meals with their families performed better in school and were less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.

And if you have angsty high-schoolers who are too stressed to chat with dear-old-mom, let them know this fun fact: studies show that talking with mom helps lower stress hormones. How cool is that?

Of course, the million dollar question is how much is enough when it comes to family time? The truth is researchers actually don’t know. They haven’t found a special number that shows a miraculous change or benefit. However, they do agree that quality time spent only engaging with your child is important for their development.

If you feel like you’re not doing enough, remind yourself of the words of child psychologist Dr. Tom Rutledge, Ph.D. (who just happens to be my dad), “The fact that you’re worried about being a good parent means you already are one.”

You’ve got this! Start with this FREE Family Fun Challenge to jump into the fun. Sign up for Maria’s monthly newsletter for more family time favorites. Click here to subscribe.

What are some of your favorite ways to sneak in family time with your crew? Tell us in the comments below!

Meg Keys is an award-winning writer with nearly 20-years professional writing experience. She is fueled by her love of food, art and fluffy pets and lives in Metro Detroit with her husband and son. Find her at megkeys.com.