We all live hectic, busy lives between our jobs, our homes and our hobbies. We seem to give all of our time to these tasks, often wishing there were more hours in the day. We all know that isn’t possible, so we must make our family a priority in our daily schedule regardless of the other duties in our lives. There are a number of simple strategies we can use to do this without sacrificing the chores we are obligated to complete.
First and foremost, we need to establish a schedule in our household. We must set regular meal times, during which we can gather with our family to prepare and eat the food. This gives everyone in the family a time to share about their day and build close, strong relationships. We also need to define periods of one-on-one time between each parent and each child, as well as between children.
These time periods can be utilized for everything from homework and studying to grocery shopping and running errands. No matter what the activity, the important thing is that we are spending quality time with one another.
Next, we need to involve our family members in as many of our extracurricular activities as possible. This is as important for parents as for the children, in that it provides a sense of unity and support for all. For example, if we spend time volunteering at our local homeless shelter, we should bring our family along to help out. Similarly, if our child is actively involved in sports, our entire family should be present to cheer them on. Just think, if the activity is important enough for us to give our time to, then it should also be just as important to everyone in the family.
Finally, we need to set limits on the time we spend outside the home, even at work. This is especially true when putting-in extra hours is not a necessity for keeping our job or for financial reasons. We must recognize the inherent value of being present for our family, even if we are simply at home to prepare our children a snack when they arrive home from school. Studies show that a parent’s presence in home, in and of itself, provides children with a sense of security and stability within their living environment.
We all must, obviously, maintain employment in order to provide for family. In addition, it is also important for each member of the family to have their share of private time. However, making ourselves available to our family by involving them in our outside activities, scheduling time with them and making our time at home a priority, will have a positive impact on our relationships for years to come.