Why is it necessary to create a family bonding time? Some people casually think that a family is just a family – it doesn’t deserve to have a special time out of the busy work schedule. For some, family bonding time is a sheer wastage of time. Did you think and reason like that? I’m sure not.
A special time to bond with your family is as important as one of your important business meetings, or exciting parties. More of such time you’ve, the better it is for your family.
However, it’s a fact that sometimes you just can’t find enough opportunities even if you want to spend time with family, because some work or the other keeps you away.
But I strongly believe that a special time for bonding with the family does make a difference – it has the power to change the way you feel about your family, and it is easy to achieve.
“Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort, and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationship flourishing and growing.” ~ Jim Rohn
What is Family Bonding Time?
It is the time that a family spends together meaningfully. It’s a chosen time that your family plans to interact with one another over fun projects, group of activities, or just doing things together.
May be you would like to read my earlier post on why family time is important to know and understand more.
When you spend time with family, you understand why family is important to you. The real meaning of family starts making sense , and you love being together, begin to understand, love, share, care for each other. Family time is important.
“I sustain myself with the love of family.” ~ Maya Angelou
Why is it Not Easy to Find Family Time?
Nowadays, both parents need to work, or single parents have to work at more than one job to make ends meet. This trend is becoming more noticeable because of the strained economy.
And after having worked for long hours, people don’t have that kind of time, energy, or patience to spend time with family, let alone bond with them.
Sometimes for parents, working around the house and trying to accomplish tasks like cooking meals, doing the laundry, or the dishes – takes most of the time, which means less time to spend with their family.
I have been guilty many a times about not having enough family bonding time, though now I am trying to find ways to spend time with family. Striking the right balance between work and family is so-so important.
It might not be easy to create a slot for family time, but it’s not difficult, and certainly not impossible.
I guess the key is to lessen the time slots that cut into your family time, just as mentioned in this post on creating meaningful family moments.
“The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works is the family.” ~ Lee Iacocca
Ways to Create Family Bonding Time
You don’t actually have to do much to create time to bond with your family; just a few changes in habits and rescheduling of your tasks to match your family member’s schedule works wonders.
Mentioned below are three ways to make family time easily available out of your busy schedule:
1- Divide the work
Being a parent, you have a never-ending to-do list. But you need to decide the things that you can do, and those which can be delegated to other family members, or perhaps the babysitter, spouse, colleague, or even your neighbor so that you can spend time with family.
Perhaps you could tell your babysitter to pick up the kids from school, prepare dinner, and sort out the kid’s room. Or you can chalk out ways where you can coordinate errands that are located in the same place, so that you can finish them in one trip and be able to use the time saved to have a family bonding time.
If family or friends offer to help, don’t be shy to accept or reach out and ask for help. May be other family or friends are ready to clean the garage or the yard for you, or water your plants one day.
And remember not to take advantage of anyone’s generosity, instead try to offer incentives and thank them for their help.
Sometimes we need to remove the tasks we do out of guilt or because they become a habit, out of our daily schedule, so that we have more time to bond with the ones we love.
2- Organize things
Do you realize that if things are not organized properly then valuable time, which could be used as family bonding time, is lost?
Sometimes you spend hours each month looking for lost files, keys, or shoes that take away much of your time. You need to create an organized system so that the things you or your family members need daily are reachable and have a regular place.
What do you achieve by this? – Hey, you waste less time and save up enough time to bond with your family!
You could have shoe racks in one corner of the house where all family members place their shoes, or a study tables for books, and have a small basket or set up hooks near the door for house keys.
Similarly, each family member needs a cubby by the door to hold rain boots or coats. And before going to bed, do a last-minute check to ensure that the next day’s shoes and clothes are easily available.
Being a working mom I sometimes double the recipe and freeze one for using later in the week. This saves me a lot of time for family bonding activities. Some ideas that may work for you also include –
- Chopping the vegetables and storing in the fridge.
- Steaming extra vegetables and refrigerating them for using the next day.
- Turn your leftovers into a sandwich, or use extra fruit salad with cereal for breakfast.
- Check out recipes that are family friendly, easy, nutritious, and quick to make.
- Keep your fridge stocked with frozen fruits and vegetables just in-case you need them.
- Stock up your fridge and home with ready to eat nutritious meals, for the days when you don’t have time to cook, or are really busy.
If you are a working parent like me and have to take out time for making phone calls, checking your emails, or catch up on social network, do so before the kids wake up in the morning, or after they go to sleep.
In-case you have to go out for work, then check if your company will let you work from home, or whether you can adjust your work hours once a week to reduce the commute.
By doing all these small tasks in an organized way, you are able to spend time with family to bond with them, which otherwise wouldn’t have been possible.
3 – Make a Plan
Sometimes you need to get stubborn when you’re required to. Consult everybody concerned, take your calendar and just mark a date. Make a plan to have a great family bonding time that day, and stick to it! That should be as important to you as any other important appointment that you have.
Your hectic schedule and routine do not naturally allow you to take the liberty of being with your family when you want to. Sometimes you need to just snatch the opportunity, or put your foot down and have it your own way.
Just leave any other work that you might have – that means you aren’t even attending to any office calls while you’re on a mission to get busy with family time activities. Make such family time frequent and even fix up weekly family nights for an outing together.
You can mark up dates in advance on your calendar so that you don’t fix up any other task or appointment on that day and time.
Also, don’t you think we as parents can limit our own activities like T.V. watching, social networking, or other habits that don’t offer much of family value, and instead prioritize to use the time for family bonding activities?
Yes, a little bit of family fun time watching some shows on T.V. together, or surfing educational sites etc., does wonders for family bonding time, though letting your kids go overboard has its side effects.
“A family in harmony will prosper in everything.” ~ Chinese proverb
Remember, that it’s not about the amount of time you spend with your family; instead it’s about how best you spend the time you have. Even if you have 10 minutes, make that time precious for your family.
Over to you –
Do you think it is important to have a family bonding time? Which tips would you agree with to spend more time with your family? How else do you think we can create family bonding time? Share in the comments below.