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Why Family Time is Important


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quality family time is great for bonding

You have a lifetime to work, but children are only young once.” ~Polish Proverb

Do you ever tend to think why family time is important? Do you remain so busy that you don’t have time to spend with your family? Maybe you understand why family time is important and do try to schedule in some family time every week, but somehow something always comes up at the last moment and steals that time away?

The concept of “family” has changed a great deal in recent times, and there are now various forms of families and different styles of parenting. However, one thing remains certain; whatever the term “family” may mean to you, it is of utmost importance in your child’s life.

The family where your child grows up has a big influence on how he or she deals with relationships, copes with situations, and learns about living life. Family time is also important because if children don’t get the required attention, they might do something that could get them in trouble.

Some stay-at-home parents or moms may think that they are somehow “better” than other parents or moms, who stay away from home for most of the time. This is a misconception, as we often think that it’s all about quantity when it comes to the time we spend with our kids, whereas it is the quality time that we need to give our family and children. Your kids care less about the hours you spend with them, than how you spend your time with them.

As your children get older and become teenagers, it becomes tougher to spend quality family time with them. It’s mainly because life keeps you busy and your children reach a stage where their friends are the main priority. As a parent, you have to be willing to go down to their level and enter their world. Sometimes you have to be creative or let them decide what they want to do as a family, but never give up on spending family time with your teens, and they may appreciate it more than what they express.

According to studies, healthy families make family time for talking and listening, accepting differences, showing affection and encouragement, sharing chores and decision making, keeping in touch, and making time for each other.

For those who still wonder why family time is important, mentioned below are a few points to make you understand things better.

  • To build a stronger bond with your family

The main reason why family time is important is because you need to develop ties and bond with your family. Often kids decide to join gangs or groups because they welcome them in, to become a part of their family. Your kids need a sense of belonging and security, as they need to feel they have someone they can turn and look up to, for anything. Spending family time together ensures that a deep, strong, family bond develops.

  • To make time to talk and listen

Another reason why family time is important directly relates to the need to share, talk, and listen to each other as a family. Parents often think that it would be tough to talk to their children, who think differently from grown-ups. However, parents tend to forget their own time, as how it was for them when they were young! The people you liked were mostly those who listened to what you had to say, similarly, you need to listen to what your children have to say. Listening doesn’t mean only hearing the words your child is saying, but also feeling what your child is trying to convey.

You need to listen without jumping in with answers, criticizing, or giving your own view points. You need to show that you are involved in the conversation, by stopping all other work you are doing, and just listen to them. Talk directly to your kids, especially teenagers, about alcohol and drugs, and set a good example yourself.

  • To teach your children important lessons of life

If children are not taught at home, they will learn it elsewhere. As a parent, would you want your children to learn life’s important lessons by undergoing pain, or going the wrong way? Although children have to learn a few things on their own, it’s important to have family time for discussions, where you can put forth problems or situations in front of them, and then talk about them with your children, seek their opinion, and discuss on the matter. This would help them understand the situations of life in a better way.

  • To show affection, appreciation, and encouragement

Family time is important so that everyone in the family has a way of showing affection to each other, maybe by giving hugs, holding hands, being thoughtful and kind. According to studies, teenagers who remember being praised, hugged, or kissed are likely to do better at school than those who don’t have this experience.

You need to take out that quality family time to ask what each family member has done in the day, and show interest in each other’s lives. People find it very easy to criticize than praise, so make an effort to think about the positive in each person, and tell your child what goodness you have noticed, besides teaching them these values.

  • To instill family values in your children

Instilling family values in children is of great significance nowadays, so that they are not misled by the number of divorces on the rise. Children mostly imitate the behavior you show towards them, and if you are an absent parent, they will be the same to their children in the future, as this is what they have learnt. Instead, they often portray worse behaviors than they see. Thus, spending family time together will build a sense of worth and instill positive family values in your children.

  • To inculcate family rituals and traditions

Daily rituals or the little things that you do daily and on special occasions, helps to build a sense of belonging, contentedness, and inner security within the family. Daily rituals like the way you greet each other, or say goodbye, what you do at mealtimes or bedtimes, can all be something to share within your family time. Families benefit from coming together to celebrate occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, or festivals like Christmas, etc., where they learn the traditions about what happens at these times.

  • To accept the differences in each person

Family time is required to appreciate, encourage, and value the differences in each family member, knowing that everyone is special in their own way. Allow each family member to be excited about their personal interests, and show respect and tolerance towards them. Don’t pressurize your family members to be like you, or hide their feelings and differences. Instead, let them feel proud to be themselves.

  • To keep in touch with friends and relatives

As we live in a society, we do need to spend family time amongst our family as well as interact with friends and relatives. Knowing that there are people outside the family to turn to in a crisis, can make a difference to your child’s happiness and increase the chances of them making good friends later in life.

  • To share the chores

Family time is important to teach younger children, by giving them chances to do things for themselves, under your supervision. Use adult power wisely, and keep control through humor and encouragement, not with punishments or threats. By spending family time together, a very special relationship of trust and intimacy that builds a healthy family develops, especially when children have a real say in what happens and where everyone feels their views are heard.

  • To help and connect better with your children

One of the most overlooked aspects of education today is parental involvement, as many parents don’t realize why family time is important, and how important it is to get involved in their children’s learning. All parents and family members need to find time and make the effort, because research shows that when families get involved, their children:

  1. Get superior grades and test scores.
  2. Graduate from high school at higher rates.
  3. Are most likely to go on to higher education.
  4. Have more positive attitudes and are better behaved.

Spending family time with your children can be by reading a bedtime story to them, checking their homework, getting involved in PTA, discussing your child’s progress with teachers, or anything related also to their academic progress. Or it can be as simple as asking your children, how was their day at school, but ask every day.

So, why family time is important doesn’t remain a question anymore, and you know it creates a sense of belonging, where you can share ideas, values, and beliefs. You need to find some ways to spend time together as a family group, and make fun times together. You could share meals together without the distraction of television or cell phones, share information, and learn about what is happening in each other lives. You could play cards, games or sports, take holidays together, go camping, watch movies, or share hobbies.

You will build a stronger family unit by spending more time together, and your family will stick together through rough times, besides enjoying the fun times together. Show loyalty to your family, stick up for each other so that each person feels confident in the family’s support and pull together to form a united front to find solutions.

Children grow up and are gone before you realize it, so don’t waste the time you have now, and spend it with your family. Remember, that strong families are able to withstand setbacks and crisis with a positive attitude, shared values, and beliefs that help them cope with challenges.

Now that you know why family time is important, how do you spend your time with your family? Do you make that special effort to spend family time with them? Do share your thoughts.

 

Photo Credit: Photostock 


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Avatar of Harleena Singh

About Harleena Singh

Harleena Singh is a positive thinker and a freelance writer. She loves to write inspiring and thought provoking posts on self-improvement, family, relationships, health, and other aspects of life. She's not another personal development guru, but just an average person with great life experiences. She's also a blogger, who loves to share her blogging knowledge and experiences. Network with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+..

20 Comments

  1. Deeone

    August 31, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Wow! This was awesome Harleena!

    I agree 101% on the importance of family time. I grew up in an environment where I didn't have it that much, and even today I can see the effects the lack of it had on my life.

    Each of your points were valid and well explained as to why that time is so important. What so many people don't realize is once that time is gone, you can never get it back. It's gone forever.

    I know more now than ever that I am one of the lucky cases. Since I didn't receive that affection from my mother and father per say, my mother was a bit better than my dad; but it was my grandmother who instilled in me the importance of family time, as well as offered that needed time to me.

    My partner and I don't have any kids in our household as of yet, but we both wish to do so one day. I also think that when that day comes we both will definitely make time for our kids.

    Awesome post! Loved it. It's definitely a must share! Thank you for sharing it with me. :)

  2. Harleena Singh

    August 31, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Welcome to my family blog Deeone!

    Glad you liked the post and could relate to it. Yes, we all go through ups and downs in our lives, some people have the best of everything, while for others it's a different story.

    Time waits for no one, and it is so true that once it passes by- there is nothing left, as no matter how hard you try- you cannot get back that time again.

    Thanks for sharing your story, and am sure whenever you do have kids, you would take that extra care and attention to devote the maximum time with them.

    Thanks so much for your valuable comment!

  3. Haddock

    September 1, 2011 at 10:27 am

    So true.
    I always believed in striking a proper balance betwen home and office. One should not overshadow the other.

    And I like that Polish Proverb

  4. Harleena Singh

    September 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Glad you liked the post and could relate to it! I totally agree that we do need to create the right balance between home and office or else you miss out a lot in life- as the lost time never returns.

    Thanks for visiting my blog Haddock, and do visit again for more stuff!

  5. Parenting Coach Alison Astair

    September 1, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    I love your blog! You made some really important points here!
    Alison Astair

  6. Harleena Singh

    September 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Welcome to my blog Alison, it is indeed nice of you to stop by and comment!

    I am so glad you liked the blog and post- and could relate to it! Thanks for visiting and please do come back for more stuff :)

  7. Nancy

    September 1, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    And most of all so your children know that you love them

  8. Harleena Singh

    September 1, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Very true Nancy!

    Children are the first ones to feel the absence of a parent, though they may not be able to voice it often, but their actions speak louder than words! Thanks for commenting :)

  9. Daniel

    September 9, 2011 at 7:39 am

    This is very true….!! I always believed to maintain a proper balance between home and office….Our family members are also as equally important for us as our JOB is…!! Give ample time to your family….!! Thanks for driving our concern to this valuable topic… :)

    Keep it up. :)

    Best Wishes Team PC Support

  10. Harleena Singh

    September 9, 2011 at 7:58 am

    Glad you found the post useful and could relate to it Daniel!

    Yes, the time once lost can never be found again, and striking the right balance between work and family is what is needed!

    Thanks for your comment, and do visit the blog again :)

  11. Justin

    November 23, 2011 at 5:01 am

    Hi Harleena,

    I agree that children are only young once so we need to make quality time with them top priority. Being near our children and actually engaging with them are two different things. I make it a point to teach my son new things often and also instill values in him.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      November 23, 2011 at 10:25 am

      That is absolutely true Justin!

      As parents we need to devote quality family time with them, not just spend time doing nothing. We need to connect with them and feel a little of what they are under going to understand them better, that is what i would really call spending family time with meaning.

      Nice to learn that you do make that sincere effort to spend time with your son and make it a point to teach things or instill values in them. I guess even a little bit of effort from our side goes a long way.

      Thanks for stopping-by. :)

  12. Praveen Rajarao

    December 12, 2011 at 2:52 am

    Harleena – This is an interesting topic and the way you have explained it out here is awesome.

    I always try to make that balance between my work life and my family time, sometimes it proves to be difficult, but the days when I am not able to spend quality time with my daughter and wife are the days I repent later.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the same.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 12, 2011 at 10:49 am

      Glad you liked the post Praveen!

      I have always felt the need for spending quality time with my family, thus this post! I guess most of us who are working all the time, do find it tough to take out the much needed family time we would want to take out, due to our work. But we do need to do so by making a deliberate effort to connect with them, even if its a few minutes of quality time. Life is so short and we need to live it to the fullest by not forgetting to connect with who are close to us.

      Thanks for stopping-by. :)

  13. Hajra

    March 14, 2012 at 1:37 am

    This is one thing very close to my heart!

    My parents made sure that no matter how busy we are – classes, sports, friends or anything – dinner should be family time. And yes, it gives opportunity for many things – to share the whole day, to bond over food and just to connect with family. That time was very important for each one of us, serious issues were discussed, a lot of fun was had and just a wonderful way to end the day!

    Also we as children could constantly get the message that we are always connected with our parents and we can sit together and discuss just anything under the sun. The appreciation, affection and encouragement highlights is something that resonates with me!

    This is a wonderful post! :)

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      March 14, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Glad it’s close to your heart Hajra!

      It’s nice to learn the wonderful things your parents instilled so rightly in you, as these very lessons are what you are going to carry down the line when you have your kids and a family.

      Similarly, my parents ensured that no matter what we did during the day or where we were- meal times were always on the dinner table- together. And we as kids always loved that, as it was one sure place to be heard and listened to! My younger sister was always the chatter box of the family and ended her meals much after us, keeping us entertained all through our meals :)

      You are absolutely right about sharing anything we ever wanted as kids, with our parents. And this happened because we were taught to have a special family time together where we were given the freedom to talk about anything we wished- without holding back. I do consider myself lucky there to have that freedom of speech, which I have seen many people don’t possess or weren’t taught.

      Family time has always been of utmost importance to me, may be because I was taught it’s importance when I was young and have wonderful memories about it.

      Thanks so much for adding more value to the post :)

      • Hajra

        March 14, 2012 at 4:03 pm

        Young ones do talk a lot eh? I am the youngest in three sisters and somehow I was the one talking the most on the dinner table! :) The family time can have so much effect on how a kid develops and grows with the knwledge of having a family bond strengthened everyday!

        • Avatar of Harleena Singh

          Harleena Singh

          March 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm

          They sure do, and in you case too- so that just proves it! :)

          Spending a few minutes of quality family time is the key factor where the overall development and growth of your kids is concerned. And the dinner table, or sitting on the couch, or just being together anywhere are great ways to build on that special bond of togetherness.

          Thanks for adding to the conversation. :)

  14. John Ernest

    May 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    In our church we have a custom that once a week we should have something we call Family Hour. Well it is not limited to once a week, it can be done as much as once a day if desired. It is the time where a family is together and all of its members are present to hear advice that officers of our church distribute to every family unit.

    It is a time where we can share stories of our day and our experiences and we can hear advice from our family. Well it varies according to the family’s preference. You can have it when you eat together, or you can have it outside like an outing. What matters is that you hear the advice from the church officers and you manage to have fun.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 15, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      Glad you could resonate with the post John!

      Sounds like a wonderful idea to have a family hour, whether it’s at home or as you mentioned as a custom in the church. I guess all that matters is that you make some time to spend with your family and connect with one another – isn’t it?

      Yes, you can seek advice from those at the church if you have a family hour there, or listen to one another when you are together at home, or even take advice from the elders in your family.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

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