“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:
- Get superior grades and test scores.
- Graduate from high school at higher rates.
- Are most likely to go on to higher education.
- 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
Posted on: August 31st, 2011
Last Updated on: March 17th, 2015