Sometimes, just sometimes, our families make us crazy, right?
By now, after having 4 boys, I think it’s just their job.
Finding time and making the commitment to spending time with your family can be challenging. Sally has dance at 4 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Joey has baseball practice Monday through Friday from 6-7pm. Dad gets home from work at 5pm. Dinner needs to be started at 5pm to be done by 5:30 so Joey can get dinner before practice. Lilly hangs out with her friends on Fridays after 8pm. The PTO asked you to create 300 invitations to the Trunk or Treat and you still need to do laundry, wash the dishes, get a package to the post office, and change the baby’s diaper….
you get the idea.
We love our family and want to find ways to be closer to them, but it can be a challenge. Sometimes, remembering the “why” is the most motivating factor in our commitment to spending more time with our family.
We’ll start with the left-brain, logical, data-driven reasons…
Eating dinner together as a family…
- boosts young children’s vocabulary
- increases intelligence and performance
- encourages healthier eating habits
- lowers risks of teenage drinking, drug use, violence, eating disorders, and sexual activity
- decreases rates of depression and suicidal thoughts
- improves family relationships
Click here for more information and links to studies.
So you can see, even just eating a meal with your family can have profound effects on its health, strength, and well-being. Take the time to get to know your children, find out how they’re doing in school, what they’re doing with their friends, what they’re happy or sad about, and make goals together for the future, etc.
Doing other activities that increase their faith, knowledge, health, confidence, compassion, and spirituality improve upon that wonderful foundation.
In a world that is so chaotic, confusing, and fast-paced, your family needs a place and people that they know they can rely on. Doing activities together builds memories and relationships that can last forever, and those relationships can help them through any challenges that may lay ahead. When Joey is struggling with a bully that keeps bothering him after school, the memories that he made with his teenage sister, Lilly, during a recent family outing at the batting cages may encourage him to talk to her about the problem if he’s too nervous or embarrassed to talk to his teacher about it. When Lilly is faced with a boyfriend who is trying to talk her into things she’s not comfortable with, she can remember conversations with her mom about her worth, her strength, and her ability to make good choices. Because Mom saw Sally’s beautiful artwork when they colored together as a family, she knew she could rely on her to create a wonderful drawing for those Trunk or Treat invitations she was dreading. Lilly loved having daddy-daughter dates with her Dad. Whenever he would come home stressed from a hard day at work, she knew he would love a foot massage. Through our interactions with our children, we are teaching them love, compassion, tolerance, understanding, teamwork, compromise, endurance, determination, and many other values that will help them in their life outside of the home.
I know our family isn’t perfect, and no family out there is. All we can do is our best.
Why do you spend time with your family?