There is an old song that talks about a father who was too busy to spend time with his young son, now the father is old and weary; the son has no time for him. Of course it tugged at the heart strings. After years of working part time at the front desk of a hospital and more years volunteering as a senior citizen advocate I have found that too often this is the case in real life.
Are you spending enough quality time with your family? If not, think about ways to make time for each family member. Sometimes the independent kid may get lost in the shuffle, because you know that he or she is strong and does not appear needy. The truth is we are all a bit needy at some point and would relish an unexpected Thank you for all you do, I am proud of you, or simply a quick hug.
Time with the family should be a high priority
Even with busy schedules there are ways to keep family at the forefront in your life:
Think about how much real time you spend with your family. Do you spend a lot of time saying, “Can we talk about it later?,” “Mommy (or daddy) is busy right now.” or something similar? If you have no idea how much real quality time you spend with your family, now is a good time to think about it. If you come to the conclusion that you spend too little time with them, start making some changes.
If necessary, put family time on your calendar or on your to do list. Family time is as important as any business appointment. When you are home with family and this is their time, do not allow interruptions, unless it is an emergency. Let your voice mail pick up calls for a couple of hours. This time does not have to be elaborate, just family private. Have a pizza, game, or movie night.
If mom or dad usually picks a child up from hockey, etc. make a switch. Your child will be surprised and delighted to see you. This small gift of time will allow you and your child to enjoy some special bonding time.
Make a date. It is important make arrangements for dates with your mate and your children as a family and individually.
Leave notes around the house. How can you put a big smile on someone's face? Leave a special note on a pillow, in the refrigerator, on a bathroom mirror, in a school book, etc. Buy yourself some Post-it Notes and get busy.
Don’t forget to spend some time with mom and dad or your elderly uncle. A holiday, Saturday or Sunday can be lonely for older people, especially if they live alone.
Remember to take time for family. No excuses. Just think of this as FUN, Families Unite Now!
Recommended: If you remember certain family traditions or rituals with fondness, then you know that they create warm memories. Now that you have your own family, make good memories for your children, take a look at The Book of New Family Traditions: How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays & Everydays at Amazon. You will find ideas that you can make for your own family tradition, whether Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or celebrating Solstice.