In a world full of uncertainty, there is always one thing for sure–your family has your back. They’re the first people you meet when you come into this world, the ones that make up your wedding party, and the support system that picks you up when you fall.
Yet, it is so easy to take our family for granted. With other distractions such as work, bills, relationships, friends, and social media, it’s easy to put your family on the backburner. However, this can be detrimental to your health. Here is why you need to spend quality time with your family and how to get more of those precious moments.
Why Family Time Is Important
Analysis conducted by Pew Research found that 52% of fathers and 60% of mothers wish they had more work-life balance. Yet, work isn’t the only thing that pulls us away from our families. We do it to ourselves, and we’re the only ones who can fix it.
Saying that family time is important may seem like a no-brainer. However, actions speak louder than words. We’ll discuss why family time is essential for overall happiness. Then, we’ll explain how to fill that time with quality company.
Families Are Our Foundation
There’s no more significant influence on who you are as a person than your family. After all, you are the company you keep! As a child, your parents influence your moral compass. Your cousins are your first best friends, and they encourage you to scrape your knees and get a little dirty. Then, your siblings teach you a thing or two about patience and sharing.
We have no clue what’s going on when we come into this world. Heck, even most adults fake their way through the whole “adulting” thing. Now, imagine how impressionable your child must be.
There are so many scary news stories on television and online. While it may be enticing to allow these mediums to parent your children, they can teach kids some bad behaviors. Instead, spending time with your children will ensure you use these formidable years to help mold your children into the people you would like them to grow up to become.
In the same breath, children can keep us in check. They teach us to be more tolerant and how to use electronics. Heck, just a few years ago, people thought hemp was a drug. Now, adults, parents, and people of all ages are swearing by the therapeutic benefits of CBD products like Serenity Hemp Oil.
The truth is, we never stop learning. It’s no wonder that those we are around the most are the ones that will teach us the most valuable lessons. However, we can never grow and learn if we aren’t present with our family members.
Engaged Families Can Catch Warning Signs
How would you know if your loved one was struggling with addiction, a mental health disorder, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) if you aren’t paying attention? There are so many loved ones who profess in the wake of a tragedy or a medical diagnosis that they wish they had paid more attention. The best way to be preventative is to be active.
One study followed 55 caregivers dining with a child at a restaurant and found that 40 of the adult participants were distracted by their smartphones during this outing. Analysts fear that this will leave a child feeling neglected and cause bouts of anxiety.
These actions also influence children to believe that this is how social interactions occur. Therefore, they are likely to translate that behavior into their own lives, including when it’s time to study.
You’ll Feel More Complete
Everything we do is for our family. So, why wouldn’t we spend the free time we have enjoying the fruits of our labors with them? After all, the Pew Research noted that 54% of fathers found parenthood rewarding. Meanwhile, another analysis found that, “Married mothers’ lives are marked by more housework and more marital conflict but less depression than their childless counterparts.”
You work so hard to hold your marriage together, be the best child possible, and bring your own kid up to be smart and funny. Why wouldn’t you want to see the benefits of this hard work up close? It’s easy to sometimes look at being in a partnership, friendship, or marriage as thankless. However, seeing your spouse light up playing a game he/she loves, your dad learning a new task that you showed him, or your son laughing at a joke his sibling told him is all the thanks you really need.
How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Family
There are only 24 hours in a day. The majority of them are taken up by work. Hopefully, another good chunk is delegated to sleep. The rest should be filled with things you love, such as hobbies and your family. Here are some ways to spend quality time with your loved ones.
Set Boundaries with Work Hours
No one will ever look back at their life in their final hours and wish they spent more time working. However, a good number will wish they spent more time with their loved ones. In the words of Nike, “Just do it.”
Your role as an employee or boss should rank under your role as child, parent, spouse, grandparent, or friend. Set work hours and hold firm. Let your co-workers and clients know that when you’re home, the phone is off. Also, get out of the habit of checking your email.
If you are in a high-stress job and need to check your email, designate a time to do it. Don’t live your life on-call. Just like you can schedule in a few minutes to check email, you can schedule time to spend with your family as well.
Learn New Tasks Together
Family members are the stars of our memories. Memorable moments are made when you step outside of your comfort zone. Bring your family along for the journey.
Have your daughter teach you how to use Photoshop. Ask your wife join you to tend the garden. Train for a marathon with your aunts and uncles.
Anytime you enrich your life by taking on a new experience, you create a positive memory. That happy feeling is enforced even more when you attach a familiar face to it.
Take a Break from the TV
Sure, we love to cuddle with our spouses or significant others and binge watch television for hours. However, how many shows have really left you feeling complete? Even better, how many hours have you wasted scrolling the catalogs in search of the perfect movie for the whole family to watch? These moments aren’t quality; they’re fluff.
When you watch television, sure, it kills time. Heck, you even have something to talk about after the show. However, you’re not making a deep connection with those you love.
In fact, watching television with someone is quite a lonely act. You’re sitting in the company of someone in silence while you both pay more attention to the characters on the screen than each other. It’s the equivalent of taking out your smartphone in public to avoid interactions with strangers. Unfortunately, in this scenario, the strangers are your family.
As much as we love our family, we can’t always just drop everything for them. We still have deadlines to meet to pay our bills and doctor appointments to make so we remain healthy. Life is busy, but it’s not impossible to manage.
Open your calendar and see how much free time you really have. Then, throw some dates and times out to your cousin, grandma, or stepbrother. Oh, and don’t forget to pencil in a date night with your partner in life. Spending quality time is essential for maintaining a strong bond with those you love.
Make Calls Instead of Texting
Texting is the lowest quality form of communication. You have no sense of the demeanor of the person you are speaking to, and without content, things can get lost in translation. You might text something to someone and mean it sarcastically, but the person you messaged could take what you said seriously. This kind of miscommunication can cause unnecessary tension in your relationships.
Avoid this confusion by speaking with loved ones on the phone. Hear their voices. Even better, FaceTime or video chat with your loved ones. Watch their reactions and enjoy their company. These conversations will create bonds much stronger than an “lol” and a winky-face emoji.
What do you do to spend more quality time with your family? Share your story below and help others forge stronger bonds with their loved ones.