“The most important thing is the world is family and love” – John Wooden
A family is a very precious element of the society. It basically comprises of parents and their children or people who share common ancestors.
Family time is the quality time a family spends together where connections and deep healthy relationships are developed. It plays an important role in strengthening and keeping the family together.
The concept of families has been gradually changing through the years. In the past most of the families used to be joint families where grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, siblings and cousins lived together under the same roof. The entire family would gather together at the end of the day and spend time together. But now with most families being nuclear, bonding with the extended family has become quite rare. In the olden days relationships extended through different generations where people would catch up with their second and third cousins too. In today’s busy world, keeping in touch with first cousins itself is challenging.
Families find it difficult to spend time together as they are hard pressed for time. In most families, both the parents work in order to make ends meet and give their children the best. After a long day’s of work parents don’t have the energy or patience to spend time with their kids, let alone other family members. It is very important to strike the right balance between work and family. Allotting specify time for the family in the midst of busy schedules may not be an easy task, but it is definitely not impossible.
The Significance of Family Bonding time:
Why is family bonding time important? Some important reasons for having family bonding time are:
To build strong family bonds: The most important reason for a family to spend time together is so that they may build strong bonds with each other. It creates a sense of belonging and love and strengthens the connection between family members. Family bonding time is especially important for children as it makes them feel secure and confident as they face the world outside. It also helps them to know that they can always depend on their family for anything.
To lay strong foundations and values in children: Spending quality family time has a great impact on children as it influences their physical, social and emotional development. Children learn a lot by watching and observing their parents. As they spend time together, parents can model good principles and values for them to follow. Children imitate the same behaviour they see and implement it in their family life. Family time may also be a good time for parents to discuss about important lessons of life. It is also important for building crucial life skills which children will need in order to lead happy and healthy life.
To improve communication between family members: In many families there is a big communication gap between parents and children, especially with teenage kids. This causes a lot of strain and frustration in the relationship. Children don’t listen to their parents, they rebel and don’t have the confidence to confide in them. By spending quality time together as a family, parents can bridge the communication gap with their children and win their hearts. This will help children confide in them and seek their advice when they face any problems, instead of looking outside for help. Having good communication will also keep children from making bad decisions and going the wrong path.
To appreciate and value one another: The members of a family may differ from each other in spite of belonging to the same family. When families have spend some exclusive time together they learn to appreciate and value one another and also accept the differences between them. By doing this the bonds between siblings is also strengthened.
To maintain relationships with friends and relatives: It is very important for families to spend time with other families, friends or relatives. It is a good practice to take children to their grandparent’s house or relative’s house during vacation or for special occasions such as anniversaries and birthdays. This will not only help children learn to mingle well with others and good build relationships but will also help build wonderful memories they can cherish as they grow old.
Ways to have quality family bonding time:
Let’s look at various ways to have family bonding time.
Eat dinner together: Having dinner together or at least one meal together is very important as it can be done on a daily basis. This is a time when the whole family can catch up with each other over a meal.
Play games together: Playing games together is a fun and bonding experience for the family. You can play indoor games as well outdoor games involving the whole family. Although this may not be an everyday activity, it can be done during the weekends and holidays.
Go out together: Once in a while it is good for the whole family to go out together and enjoy. The whole family can go out for meal to their favourite restaurant, or to the mall, the beach or park.
Go on a vacation: Vacations are a great time to bond together as a family. Taking a break and getting away from the busy schedules will greatly help you relax and spend quality family time. Vacations create great memories to be cherished.
Visit friends and relatives: As the majority of the families are nuclear families the bond between cousin’s, uncles and aunts are slowly diminishing. We meet our relatives only in family functions or weddings. Therefore, make it a point to visit close friends and relatives on a regular basis. This will help strengthen the bonds between different generations.
Cook or bake together: Cooking or baking together with your kids can be a good bonding experience. It may give children a sense of achievement. This time can also be used to instil good values.
Just sit and talk: Sometimes it is very important just to sit and relax and chat with your family. Catch up with the things happening in their life and talk about the things that matter to them. Sometimes it is important just to be there and listen to the other person speak.
The health of the family is determined by the amount of time invested in it. Therefore family bonding time is very essential to keep the family strong and close knit.
Good luck and happy parenting!