Family, no matter how obnoxious they may be at times, is still family regardless. And spending time with family is worth every second of your time and should always be at the top of your list.
Yes, sometimes life happens that makes spending time with family and friends challenging, but I advise you to at least find the time to check in via video call or similar.
Family members and loved ones are the most cherished people in our lives for obvious reasons, and the importance of family has never been as relevant as it is now in the modern age.
This is mostly due to the rapid alienation that technology imposes upon us, leaving us longing for some sort of emotional bond, a sense of belonging, and the like.
Yeah, seeing your family even when you’re a thousand miles apart has never ever been easier thanks to the very technology that alienates us, whether it be through social media updates or any video call services.
But, sometimes it just doesn’t feel the same as sitting down for a family dinner.
The Importance Of Spending Time With Family
Spending quality time with your family members face to face is, at least in my opinion, one of life’s greatest treasures if you can afford it and it’s often taken for granted until it’s taken away from us.
Even if you’ve had a shaky relationship with your own parents, giving them the time of day and just checking in will mean the world to them – let them know you care.
But, your parents likely aren’t the only family you have.
Chances are, that if you’re reading this, you’re a mamma, or at least an expecting one, so here are some important lessons on why family time is of crucial relevance in this day and age.
1. Setting time aside from the daily routine
Working 8 hours a day for 5 days a week can easily get you into a rut that’s tough to get out of. The same goes for kids who go to school every day and have to follow the same routine day in and day out.
It makes a family distant with one another without them even realizing it.
Having a designated period where spending time with family is a must helps bridge that gap and bring the family together.
This goes doubly so if you have some interesting group activities planned for family time or other fun ways to bond.
2. Showing that you care
While it may seem boring to your kids to spend time with their family as they grow older, it does help them show that you care enough about them to still maintain the tradition and that you still love them unconditionally.
It also helps serve as the time that you get to devote to your kids and help solve any problems they may be having in life by providing them with a healthy environment and making family time into a coping mechanism for their outside troubles.
It helps kids to know that you’re there to both share in their successes and empathize with them when they fail.
3. Helping teach family values
The best way to teach kids some good life qualities is through quality family time and good family bonding.
Whether it’s down to the simplest task of teaching them table etiquette at the dinner table during meal time to important life lessons that are bound to apply in their later life, there’s no better place for them to learn it from than from spending time with family.
4. Keeping a conversation
Tying in to #1, family night can also be a good way for both kids and parents to help express their thoughts or share any news.
In fact, it’s usually the best place to share any exciting things that happen in either of your everyday lives.
This is because if family relationships are well maintained and your family members feel welcome at the table, they’re more likely to share what’s been going on in their lives and how it’s affecting them.
5. Helping build self-confidence and self-esteem
One of the big benefits of family time is helping improve the mental health of your kids.
Once again, this is assuming there are stable family relationships in place because then kids will feel a lot less pressure to ask for help or admit to their shortcomings.
It even helps build character before a public performance, where family time can be used to help them practice their lines and presentation, whether it be for a job interview or just talking in front of the class.
Good Examples Of Ways To Spend Time With Your Family
1. A family dinner
The simplest form of spending time with family is bonding over a family meal.
While it may not be as significant as some other forms of family bonding, it’s still healthy to keep in touch with the whole family over an everyday activity like a family dinner.
It helps serve as a way to preserve a strong family bond once the tradition has been established.
Plus, it’s good for the well-being of both parents and kids to see the familiar face of a loved one – one that they know will be there for each other through thick and thin.
2. Board game night
A family activity I’m very partial to because I use it in my own family unit gatherings. It’s something that’s very near and dear to my heart that my family’s also taken a real liking to.
Nothing helps form a strong family bond like a few light-hearted and interactive board games that help bring the entire family close together in a fun way for when you or your kids need a little pick-me-up.
3. Helping out with school work
It is the duty of every parent to be there to assist their kids in their endeavors, and especially so with their school work.
This is because every parent ought to value their child getting an education and put effort into helping improve their kid’s academic performance.
It’s not crime to help them should they find themselves stuck on a math problem or similar. Just be there to help them or at least simplify it enough for them to get a grasp on it and solve it themselves.
4. Doing chores as a family
While this is one of the more boring options on the list, you’ll find that your kids are going to be oddly more agreeable when asked to do a chore if you’re also there doing one alongside them.
Give them some of the lighter tasks or simply have them assist you in whatever way they can, and you’ll find them having fun regardless of it being weekly house cleaning.
Bonus points if you can make it interesting by changing the setup of the furniture in your living room or something else that will make a noticeable visual difference, which your kids will then be proud of accomplishing.
5. Exercising together
Another thing that may seem boring and unmotivating for kids (and even some parents) to do routinely is some form of exercise.
Living a healthy lifestyle is important and if you make it into a family activity, all of you are going to feel more motivated to make it into a regular activity.
Whether it’s taking a walk/jog around town together, spending time at the gym, or even just doing a few workout reps at home – all of it counts and will help promote that healthy lifestyle in both you and your kids, as well as be the foundation for developing some more positive behaviors down the line.
6. Taking family trips every now and then
Looking back, the fondest memories of spending time with family were from all of the random trips my parents would take me and my brother on.
While we were rarely ever thrilled about them unless it was a beach destination, both of us would always warm up to the idea half-way through the trip and would actually have a great time once we figured out what fun things we could do on it.
Ever since I became a parent, I’ve learned the value of these family trips and make apoint of taking my kids out every now and again while they’re still young to help teach them that the outdoors is a fun place as well.
I want to show them that there’s more out there than just the town that they spend their time in every day.
Plus, the change of scenery does wonders for your overall mental health.
7. Showing your kids where you work
While I myself can’t really use this, given that I’m a stay-at-home mom and all, you just might.
Showing your kids what you do day in and day out may help them better understand all the effort that you put in to help provide for them on a daily basis, and might make them respect you more.
While the goal is to teach them a lesson about hard work, don’t forget to make the visit fun and relaxed if your workplace allows for it – besides, I’m sure your coworkers will help in that department too.
8. Family movie night
An ideal way of spending time with family is to pop some kernels, get together on the couch, and watch a movie together.
Either that or going to the cinema, but I find that it’s a lot more intimate and homely in your own household than with all the other people around.
Not everything has to have some sort of educational purpose after all, sometimes all it needs to be is a bit of silly fun. Heck, why not add a bit of playful pillow fighting?
And, if you want to make it engaging, rotate who gets to pick the movie for the next family movie night. That way, your kids get a say in the matter as well, so it’s not always you who’s picking.
9. Don’t forget about your extended family
While hanging out with just your kids and partner alone may be fun, don’t forget to visit your kids’ grandparents or their aunts and uncles every now and again.
Or at least the ones they find fun to be around with.
It helps to keep things dynamic and interesting for them and break the monotony of nuclear family time where it’s just you, your partner, and them all the time.
Allowing an extra family member to join shakes that dynamic up and makes it a lot more fun for the kids, bringing smiles to the included family members’ faces as well.
Their grandparents are probably going to be the most excited for these visits, as it also shows them that they’re still relevant and that the rest of the family cares about them despite their age.
Consequences Of Kids Not Spending Enough Time With Family
If you end up not recognizing the importance of family time, given enough time, you might see it negatively affect your kids.
You see, kids require love and attention from their parents, but in a form that gets reciprocated based on their own wants and needs.
Only buying them expensive things and doing nothing else doesn’t show them that you care. On the contrary, it shows them that you only price their existence to the value of the item and that you think they can be bought that easily.
Trust me, they don’t care how expensive a toy you bought them is if you help teach them good family values and other positive traits.
If kids are left excluded from family life for too long you may start seeing their academic performance deteriorate – grades slipping and potentially even getting into trouble at school for insubordination.
Their level of self-worth might start crumbling, paving the way for insecurities that make your kids think they’re not worth the attention.
That, in turn, will affect their self-confidence and is likely to also cause a number of behavioral problems as lack of attention from the parent’s side leads them to lash out in order to earn that attention (even if it’s through reckless means).
Your kids may start looking for other role models to help build their values upon – role models who are likely to be less than ideal and may lead them down a dangerous path.
Another thing that might happen, which isn’t exactly mutually exclusive, is the chance that your kids may begin isolating themselves into their own world.
This world usually tends to be virtual, where kids seek to fill the lack of social contact through video games and online friends.
While not a bad thing in some cases, it more often than not leads to poor physical development in the child and poor social skills development should their online hours go unchecked.
Sure, the friends they’re likely to meet online are from all walks of life, but not being out and about will only do them more harm than good at such a young age where they’re still meant to be growing both mentally and physically.
Seeing all of this, I urge you to not neglect spending time with family, especially your kids, as the family bonding will mean so much to them even if they don’t express it.
Believe me when I say that you should cherish every moment you can get with your family, as you never know where the roads may take you.
Learning From Personal Experience
If you ever find yourself stumped on what you ought to do in this case, just think back on your own childhood and how important being around family was for you, even though you may not have admitted it at times.
Personally, I didn’t agree with my mother a lot of the time. My ideas often clashed with hers, which created this divide between us – one that later made me dislike her greatly when I started college.
So much so that I would outright refuse to go visit her and dad just because she was around, even though I kept in contact with my father.
Even though we eventually patched things up after setting some things straight, the feel was never the same between me and her because of the way things played out in the past, things that cost me a few years of my life due to making the wrong decisions.
But, living through that made me realize just how important it is to have parents be involved in their children’s lives in a non-invasive manner.
Of just how important it is to let kids make their own decisions while you as parent serve as the railing that doesn’t let them swerve off route but keeps them on target.
Parents help serve as a guideline, a moral compass on which the child’s life choice will be based upon. And, if you’ve done decently enough, you’re likely to be more than proud of the results.
Spending time with family is an activity you should always make sure you reserve some time for.
Not only is it important for yourself to help unwind after long days of work, to help you reset, but it also serves as a good way to spend time with your kids, a time dedicated to developing a strong family bond between everyone at the table.
Whether it’s through games, food, movies, school projects, or just plain old chats, all of these activities will help show your children just how much you care about them and how much they are supported and loved by their family members.
It helps keep them on the right path. It helps your children grow into the wonderful people you’ve always dreamed they’d become, who have you at their side yet still build their futures with their own decisions.
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