Families don’t spend much time together anymore. I think there are two reasons for this. First, busyness has become a virtue in our culture. No matter what age you are, you are expected to be busy and looked down upon for taking a slower pace. Second, society and religion tend to segment the family by age. Although a strong family unit is the foundation of both institutions, it seems they conspire against families spending time together. Your family won’t spend time together by accident. If you want to spend more time with your family, you have to intentionally set aside time to be with them. Here are a few ways to do this:
Make More Time For Your Family
We tend to spend too much time in other areas that could be spent with our families. Many of us spend too much time:
- Working. We feel the need to work long hours and bring our work home. We don’t take a day off or use all of our vacation days.
- Doing tasks. Housework and yardwork never end. There is always something more to do. So we are consumed by completing tasks and finishing projects around the house.
- Being entertained. Life is stressful and we just want to relax. So we spend hours each evening watching T.V., playing video games, or browsing the internet.
- Pursuing hobbies. We want to have fun or be with friends, so we spend time away from home during evenings and weekends.
Everything else in our lives competes for time with our family. Each of us needs to assess whether we spend too much time in these areas and devote that time to our families instead.
Include Your Family in Daily Tasks
Each of us has chores and tasks. The easiest way to do them is to get the kids out of our way. So we tell them to watch T.V. or play a game on our iPad, or just ignore them for a little while. But your family can be included in most of these daily tasks. Rather than trying to get them of your way, try to get them involved and let them participate. This is easier than it sounds. My 3-year-old daughter helps me cook breakfast, pack my lunch, cut the grass, take out the trash, and do the budget. Sure it takes longer, but it lets me spend time with her when I normally wouldn’t be able to. And who knows? Maybe someday I won’t have to pack my lunch or take out the trash anymore!
Be Present With Your Family
We cannot settle for just being around our spouse and children. Being in the same room with them isn’t the same as spending time with them. We must focus on actually being present with them. Make eye contact, ask questions, listen to what they say. Put away your phone and mobile devices. Turn off the T.V., radio, and XBOX. Focus on your family and refuse to be distracted.
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