Families have different forms and composition. Family is most importantly a feeling of belonging to someone and loving without conditions. The family we belong to, has a big influence on how our children deal with relationships, cope with different situations, and learn about living life.
Some families have an easy way of spending quality time together, others have to put more work into it.
Today’s families are busy. That is not a bad thing, but spending time together is still important. Finding that time, with everyone’s busy schedules, can be challenging. As parents we want to find time to exercise, meet friends, excel at work and do all the things that make us, ‘us’. At the same time we want to be the best parents for our children and spend time with our partner. When our children start getting bigger, they have their own activities and friends they want to spend time with.
Combining the things we love to do and family time can be a part of the solution and lead to better communication. Sharing hobbies with our kids or spouse and showing interests in their activities can have very positive affects on the relationships. Spending time together with our partner and children is a precious family time, that should not be taken for granted. This does not mean that we should not have alone time with our spouse, or skip your precious “me time”, alone or with friends. But finding the balance and making sure to always find time to spend together.
It’s not all about quantity but quality. Make the time count. Even though we work hard and have a busy schedule, if we make the time together count, we are on the right track. Turn of the phone. Be invested in the conversation or the activity. Don’t spend tummy time bonding, with the phone in one hand, looking at Instagram or reading the latest news. It’s even more important if we have older kids, that we really are engaged in the time we spend together. Both to make sure that the kids feel that what they have to say is important, and also to show a good example. Even though quality is more important than the quantity, quantity usually leads to better quality.
We all recognize that if we talk to a friend a couple of times a week, the relationship is easier to maintain, than if you only talk once a month. You usually have more to talk about, when you speak regularly, and are involved in each other’s lives. The same goes for family, whether it’s you partner or your children. Communication is usually easier when you make time you spend together.
Showing interest in others interest and activities shows that you care. If it’s your partners, who is on a paternity leave, stories about how many diapers were changed or your kids kindergarten stories about who was wearing pink shoes today. Your partner worrying about the work loud or bragging about successful projects. Listening, commenting and engaging in the conversation, shows you care. Sharing, engaging and respecting each other shows a good example and creates good family values. If a family members has a hobby, showing interest in that also shows your love and affection.
Creating family traditions, creates positive memories your children will remember forever. Doing things your way, creates a sense of belonging together.
Family traditions can be how and when you open presents at christmas or always watching a movie on Saturdays. It can also be small things like family dinners. Eating dinner together 3-5 times a week, where everyone leaves their phone far away from the dinner table. Cooking dinner together as a family can also be a very good time for the family to bond. Talking about the day you all had and teaching your bigger children how to cook. Telling them why you add spices and how long you should cook the pasta. If you have a baby or a toddler you can put on the baby carrier, make dinner with your partner and just enjoy the moment together, while discussing your day.
Sharing the chores teaches you kids responsibility. You are a team and everyone should participate and do their part. Seeing parents share the chores like cooking, cleaning and taking care of the children shows a good example and brings us closer to a more equal world.
The benefits of family time
Spending time together as a family creates a sense of belonging. Children are less likely to go look for that feeling somewhere else if they can find it at home. We should make an effort in finding ways to spend time together as a family, and create fun memories. Turning of cell phones, TV, computers and other distractions and instead share ideas and values and learn about what is happening in each other lives. Play card games, do sports or go on holidays together. If we manage to spend time together as a family, we will make it easier for our children to share their thoughts an worries when going through tougher times.
Family time creates loyalty to each other and a feeling of support. Our children grow up fast so we should make sure we use the time we have.
Read our ideas about activities you can do together as a family!