We live in the most fascinating time. Never before in the history of human existence has technology evolved so rapidly. While it is exciting, it also creates a crazed and frantic pace in our lives. In order to get through the day, many families outsource household chores. But have we taken it too far?

Many parents outsource jobs such as walking and washing the dog, ironing, gardening, ordering groceries online or dropping the kids off at soccer practice. This helps them run important errands or complete tasks that others can’t do. Outsourcing is a great idea, however, how much of this ‘free’ time do we spend developing meaningful relationships with our kids?

Are you, like many families, so busy that you have let important moments slip from your routine? Do you regularly share conversations about your day during dinner? Do you spend carefree time playing games with your kids like chasing each other around the park? The reality is we need to value quality time over quantity. Is this happening in your family?

Deep down we know chores and jobs can wait. However, modern living demands a pace that results in a loss of what really matters, quality time with the ones we love the most.

It is important to remember that you are a role model. Your child’s view of the world is shaped by the interactions you share as a family. It is important to make the most of it.

Try these 6 simple suggestions with your family this week: 

  1. Plan for quality time together. Connect as a family and you will develop a deeper bond with your kids. You will also become more attuned to their needs when tough times present themselves. Set aside time that is non-negotiable. A precious time when everyone is available.

  2. Keep an eye on things that are happening around you. In your town or city there are many inexpensive events that are interesting for all the family. Use the entertainment section of the newspaper or have a look online to find out what’s on.

  3. Set aside meal times that are technology free. Turn off the television, put away mobile phones, close up the computer and encourage free-flowing conversations. Time together like this is invaluable.

  4. Get the kids involved in household chores. Make working together fun. Vacuuming, cleaning windows, and even dusting can be turned into an adventure with some upbeat music and a few laughs along the way. 

  5. Get involved in things that interest your children. Colour in together, build a blanket fort, or lie on the grass and make cloud animals in the sky. You are never too old to enjoy the wonder that children find in everything.

  6. Most importantly, be present. Work can wait. Be there when your child needs you. Be there when they compete in games or sport. Make sure you watch their performances. Prioritise bedtime stories. Sit and listen when they need someone to hear the important things that are going on in their mind.

Yes, outsourcing gives you more time. Just remember to spend it on the most important things in your life, your family.

About the author: Tim Heinecke

Tim Heinecke is Australia’s number one student engagement guru. Being a father to four school aged children as well as having been a school teacher for more than 20 years gives him insights into better ways to inspire young people. Tim is the founder of the Student Engagement Institute and he has shown thousands of teachers and parents how to better engage children in their own educational journey.

Learn more about the Student Engagement Institute here.