Quality Time With Family: Treasuring the Precious Moments of Childhood

Quality Time With Family: Treasuring the Precious Moments of Childhood

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Do your kids seem to be growing up too fast? We cannot stop the clock, but we can slow down and learn how to spend quality time with family. Find out how to treasure the precious moments you have with your kids before they grow up.

father holding baby

I have to confess that I am a die hard Mama Mia fan. When a fellow blogger shared one of the songs with a reminder to be mindful of the precious moments we have with our children- it caught my attention.

Slipping Through My Fingers - Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried
Watch this video on YouTube.

This song (Slipping Through My fingers) holds special memories for me. I went to see the movie Mama Mia with my mom.

That doesn’t happen very often as we live thousands of miles apart, on two different continents, and I cannot see her very often. We treasure the rare moments we have together.

I was in England when the movie came out and we went to see it together. When this song started she reached out and held my hand. It was a tender moment of connection between two moms who had experienced the truth captured by the lyrics.

“Slipping through my fingers all the time- I try to capture every minute -The feeling in it”

“Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table – Barely awake I let precious time go by”

“Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture and save it from the funny tricks of time.”

Treasuring the Precious Moments With Your Children

How To Cherish Every Stage Of Childhood

Do you ever wish you could freeze the moments of time you have with your children? If only we could! Still although we cannot stop time, we can slow down our days and learn how to treasure the precious moments we have together.

Life can get really busy for parents. It is all too easy to find yourself just going through the motions, moving mindlessly from one task to another, until you fall exhausted into your bed.

Then the next day you drag yourself out of bed only to do it all again. Does that sound familiar? If this describes your life could I encourage you to stop right now and learn how to cherish EVERY moment. Here are a few ideas. Use the table of contents to jump to the sections that interest you.

1. Learn a Little About Child Development

Understanding what stage of development your children are at will help you understand their behavior. For example toddlers are at the stage when they are developing a sense of self, so for them resistance is normal and healthy. That was a huge revelation for me. Once I understood this I was able to deal with tantrums, and defiance calmly and accept that this was just a stage. Well most of the time anyway!

I would highly recommend the free printable child development sheets from Iowa State University. These are the best free resources I have discovered to date.

They cover every age and stage from birth to age 11. Each sheet gives an overview of the physical, mental, emotional and social development for a particular stage. They also provide ideas for parents and suggestions for age appropriate books and toys.

2. Enjoy Each Stage and Make the Most Of It

Each stage has its own set of joys and challenges. I know that when you are in the midst of the “terrible twos” it can be tempting to wish the time away. Instead why not focus on the things you can do now with your children and enjoy those to the full. If you have an infant put aside worries about housework and enjoy cuddling your baby. There will come a time when you can no longer snuggle with your child for extended periods of time.

If you have a preschooler enjoy spending time with him or her. There will come a time when your child doesn’t want to spend every waking moment with you.

If you have teens enjoy their sense of humor and energy. Before you know it they will be heading off to university and you will miss the noise and mess.

Mother spending quality time with family

3. Be Realistic About Your Child’s Needs And What That Means For You As A Parent

Some ages and stages are more demanding than others. If you are parenting a newborn it is probably not the best time to be taking on extra responsibilities!

If you are parenting preschoolers you will need a lot of energy and patience. You will probably want to create a simple schedule and keep outside activities to a minimum.

There is plenty of time to do all the things you want once your children are older. You can have it all, but some of your dreams may have to wait a few years.

4. Remember It Is Just A Stage

Some ages and stages are very challenging, but they will pass.

I remember the mess and chaos of those early years. Toys and clutter seemed to fill every level surface.

One time my sons decorated the wallpaper with crayons!

Another time they decided to see what happens when you put gum in your hair.

These were very normal things for children their age to do. Yes, there will be days when the noise and mayhem may drive you crazy, but I promise it will pass.

Eventually your children will learn to clean up after themselves (yup honest!). Then your surly uncommunicative teen will grow up and start talking to you again. Hang in there. Talk to other parents who have been there. Recognize this is entirely normal. It is just a stage. It will pass.

Quote about spending quality time with family

5. Treasure The Moments You Have Together

As much as possible put aside distraction and simply enjoy what you are doing together in the moment. Take the time to really notice your children while they are still with you. Be conscious of the dimples that appear when your baby smiles at you; how your preschooler’s hand feels in yours; the funny faces your child makes when they are concentrating; or how your teenage daughter looks when talking animatedly about something that is important to her.

6. Find A Way To Record It

If you enjoy writing use a journal to create a record of your days with your children. Write about the special moments you have with your children; record the funny and insightful things they say; describe the way they looked. I love this One Line A Day Journal for busy parents or  this classic Moleskin Journal for those who like to write more. One day these journal entries will hold a treasure trove of memories both for you and your children.

  • Record the funny and insightful things they say
  • Describe the way they looked.
  • Record the things you love about having a child that age.

If writing isn’t your thing keep a camera handy. Snap a picture when your child smears Vaseline all over their head! Record the amazing fort your children build in the living room. Take pictures of the time they decided to roll in the mud.

kids with kitten
I am so glad I snapped this picture of my boys with a kitten

Try and capture the look of enchantment when they hold a kitten or spot a rainbow. It’s amazing how many things we can forget. One day these journal entries and/or photographs will hold a treasure trove of memories both for you and your children.

7. Build Precious Childhood Memories

Recently one of my cousins posted an old photograph on Facebook. It was a picture  taken in my grandmother’s garden.

That one picture unleashed a flood of comments from family reminiscing about my grandparents and the time we spent in their house and garden.

  • We spent more time in Nana’s garden, the camp and Granddad’s shed, than our own.
  • It was home and I loved it there.
  • Happy days
  • Granddad’s shed was like a palace from a kid’s point of view.

When I was growing up I lived next door to my grandparents. My mom came from a large family, so there was always family coming and going. We children practically lived over at my grandparents. There are so many memories.

You probably have memories of your childhood and time spent with family. I hope they are glorious memories! Those special recollections of the joy and wonder of childhood. Memories of blissful days before the responsibilities of adulthood made their presence known. These moments are so special to us that a photograph, a song, a smell can cause us to flashback in an instant. Yes those were the good old days.

children lying in grass

These Are the Good Old Days For Your Kids

Now I want to remind you of something really important. These ARE the good old days for your children.

They are living the joy and wonder of childhood RIGHT NOW. And you get to participate in it. You get to watch as their memories are recorded. Or not!

Will you recognize these moments as they unfold? Or will you be too busy? When those memories are being forged will you be a part of them? Or will you be too distracted?

As our kids grow older, let’s do everything we can to participate in those special times with our children. Let’s stop, slow down and simplify before they go out into the world. Let’s embrace the wonder of childhood with our children.

We may need to let go of some expectations. We may need to do drop some things from our to do list. Instead let’s make quality time with family a priority and forge memories with our children. That is the most precious gift of all.

Yes these ARE the good old days.

Our children are precious gifts! Times passes by in a flash, so  treasure the precious moments with your children while they are still with you. What do you enjoy most about your life with your kids right now? What do you want your children to remember about this time in their life?

8. Spend Quality Time With Family

This is perhaps one of the best ways to make the most of the time you have with your kids. Their childhood will pass in a flash, but you can grab a hold of those moments and spend time together. It will make a huge difference.

Playing with your kids is a wonderful way to  enjoy some quality family time. My printable Play Activity Cards make it so easy. All the activities use household items and don’t need any preparation. Download your set today.

Finding Quality Time for Family

When I was doing a course on microeconomics I learned about the concept of scarcity. Scarcity is a problem that arises when people have many wants, but limited resources. When this happens we must make choices between our wants. We make these decisions by giving up (trading off) one want to meet another.

At times I experience scarcity in our garden. We have a limited amount of space and I have to choose what I want to plant. Sometimes I will give up my desire to grow one plant, so I can plant another.

Our time is a limited resource, so we have to make choices about how we use it. When we over-schedule our days  we stress our breaking points. When that happens we experience scarcity. We find ourselves multitasking and juggling commitments. Sound familiar?

Father spending quality time with their family

The Tension Between The Urgent and the Important

Unfortunately, we tend neglect what the important to get as much done as possible. This include quality time with family. Things like shared meals, family conversations, family fun. These things are easy to put on hold. What is urgent and pressing tends to take over.

We live in constant tension between the urgent and the important.  The problem is that the important task rarely must be done today or even this week.

Charles Hummel

Think about where could you stop, slow down, and simplify. What can you give up to create some space for family time? How might that benefit your family life? Here’s some ideas.

  • Delegate one responsibility 
  • List your time commitments outside of the family; underline the ones that energize you and fill you joy. Make arrangements to graciously give up one of the others.
  • Say what I have done is good enough for today. Toss the to do list and go play with your kids . Let them take the lead. Learn from them. They instinctively know how to slow down and be present.
  • Schedule in slow time between events – actually put them on your calendar
  • Make a to don’t do list . I promise that the world will not end if you say no.
  • Sit and do absolutely nothing for a while
  • Stop Multitasking.
  • Limit your time on social media (NOTE to self- this one is for you).
  • Write your to-do list on one single post it note –that will keep it short and manageable
How to spend quality time with your kids pin

How do you spend quality time with your family?

There are so many ways!  Click through to get a list of 26 easy family activities! See how easy it is to spend time together.

Need something more? Check out our ultimate guide to building family bonds. It includes an epic list of 101 family bonding activities to help you spend quality time with your kids.

Looking for even more? Scroll through the family activity archives or follow me on Pinterest. I pin hundreds of great ideas.

40 thoughts on “Quality Time With Family: Treasuring the Precious Moments of Childhood”

  1. Thank you for this post. It hits the nail on the head for a specific prayer of mine. The time flies so quickly and too often we get caught up in our busy lives.
    God Bless, Lauren

  2. My friend and I were just talking about this the other day. Our kids are only with us for a short time. It’s not fair! We only have them as little kids for a few years, then the rest of the time they’re adults. I need to re-evaluate how I’m using my time and where my priorities lie. Great advice. Thank you for the reminder.

  3. Switching off technology is definitely my biggest problem, the phone especially, for my husband it’s the TV. It’s something that I have been thinking about a lot lately and I know it’s time to start purposely switching off at set times and really soaking up this fleeting time with my babies. Try will be grown and flying the nest sooner than I think!

    #teamIBOT was here!

  4. I hear you! It’s the Internet for me, there are so many interesting things to see. I’m thinking about trying a tech free day each week. It may take me a while to work up to that! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  5. I found your article from a link on another article you had written on children in church. I enjoyed both of these articles and totally agree with both of them. I am not a young mother with little ones any longer but I do have grandchildren, 11 of them and two more on the way. I find I have to purposely slow down and pay attention when the grandkids are here. I often regret not doing this when my kids where little. I guess I just wanted to add my two cents concerning grandparents and that your article is relevant to us too!

    1. Thanks for your comment Debbie. I’m glad you found your way here. Grandparents have such an important role to play in children’s lives and yes much of what I write is relevant for them too. I’m hoping to write some posts specifically for grandparents at some point. Do you have any ideas for topics?

  6. A great big YES to living in the present, being in the moment with those we love, turning off our technology, and tuning into what’s actually taking place around us.

  7. Awesome tips. I’m easily distracted by my phone and I know that is something I really need to work on. Going to have to set myself some tough boundaries I think!

  8. Great post Sharon and thanks for visiting my little site. If I’m honest, I think blogging impacts on me being in the NOW with my kids, but it also provides me with a creative outlet that I need and helps me access better parenting tips! I just need a better balance for our family.

    1. I think almost every parent struggles with finding balance for their family. I find it is way too easy to disappear into my computer. I don’t mean to, but the time just gets eaten up when I’m on-line or blogging. I am trying to set some limits on my computer use, but it is challenging at times.

  9. When I first saw the movie and heard the song, I was sitting on the couch with my toddler and baby, watching them, silent tears running down my face. Even then I appreciated how precious the time is. We can’t remember everything. But we can cherish it 🙂

  10. Eva @ The Multitasking Mummy

    Your post reflects exactly the reason I’ve recently made the decision to cease my business and be a stay at home mum. The time I spent on my business, thinking about my business and worrying about my business was time taken away from fully focussing on my son and I hated it. I do have to remind myself often to focus on the present but I with the change this will start to become easier.

  11. This is such a lovely post. It actually almost made me cry … yes, I do wish I could freeze moments in time with my children! I feel like I turned my back for a moment and when I turned around again my son wasn’t a little boy anymore. Time seems to expands and contract when you’re a mother, doesn’t it? some days seem to go on forever but on the other hand, years pass by in the blink of an eye. We’re so lucky we live in the era we do so we can document our memories with photos and videos. I like your tip about writing down the funny and insightful things our children say. We think at the time that we’re going to remember them forever, but life is busy and if we don’t write them down we do forget, don’t we, despite or best intentions!

    1. Thank you Lizzy. One of my regrets is that I didn’t write down more memories. I know I have lost so many things as the years have gone by. Thank goodness for photographs. I love the pictures you posted of your children reading.

  12. A fantastic reminder to slow down. I am constantly reminding myself to just sit and enjoy doing nothing with the girls instead of stressing about what need to be done. You’re absolutely right, time flashes by so fast and I often wonder, what happened to my little boy(mr almost 21).

  13. Hi there, I appreciate this post. I am a new mother…..sort of.I am a 67 year old great grandmother raising a soon to be 4 year old. My great grandson. Things are so different from when I raised my kids and had grandkids living here. A different world. Technology is fun and teaches him a lot but……we do the outdoor things as much as possible. Time spent with people is what he wants. Thats what he gets…….I hope it works
    Janice

    1. Hi Janice, so glad you came by. What a gift you are to your great grandson. I am so glad you are there for him. Things have changed so much in the last 20 years haven’t they? Still I think you are on the right track when you spend time with your great grandson. Children have always need lots of time with people who love them and they always will. That’s one thing that will never change 🙂

  14. It’s a very poignant post. I had my only child rather late in life, so I see some of my friends sending their children off to college while mine starts second grade. I work full time, so I am really trying to make our time together count. Thanks for another reminder to slow down, not sweat small stuff and enjoy this time when I am still the most important person to her.

  15. Anna@The Measured Mom

    Great, great stuff… good tips for me to slow down and be present! Thanks for sharing at the After School linky!

  16. Anna@The Measured Mom

    I’m a new host at the After School Linky and will be featuring this post this week! I’ve also pinned it to our pin board. You can hop on over to The Measured Mom to check it out – hope to see you linking up again!

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