Many parents assume their kids are looking for more time from them. However, children have a different opinion. Kids do not simply want family time, they are looking for something more, something deeper. Children are wanting family bonding time, quality family time.
Tara Parker Pope published an article, Surprisingly, Family Time Has Grown, in her New York Times Blog – Well. In the article, she shares how family time has surprisingly increased since the 1960s, but finishes the article with an interest perspective.
Her final words were:
Are parents misunderstanding their children?
Kids Do NOT Want Family Time, They Want Family Bonding Time
Would your wife rather you spend 2 extra hours at home or 1 extra hour on a walk with her? Hopefully, this is an easy answer. A walk.
Would your children rather you work on your computer at home for 3 hours instead of the office or spend 1 hour playing with them in the backyard?
The bottom line is children and spouses are not looking for more time, they are looking for more family bonding time. They are looking for time that matters. They are looking for valuable time.
Sadly, we as parents do not see this situation correctly often. We have convinced ourselves to give our children more time, but have sacrificed quality time.
What good is time if it is distracted time? Children are looking for their parents, not looking for time with their parents. If parents are physically present, but are emotionally disconnected, parents are not building relationships. Children want to know their parents, play with their parents, and be with their parents.
Children are reaching out to parents, looking to bond with them. The solution is not family time, but family bonding time.
Family bonding time is simply committing to quality invested time between parents and children.
Is Family Bonding Time Realistic?
What is realistic though? Moms and Dads are sacrificing office hours for home office hours. Leading many parents to believe as long as they are present, they are filling the vacancy of time. Isn’t this a good thing? What other options do parents have?
Realistically parents are obligated to necessary matters that have no wiggle room. Leaving us to ask ourselves as parents,
Is there room for family bonding time?
Parents are feeling more guilt towards their lack of family time, but children are not seeing the same picture and dilemma. Children are seeing the lack of focus time, quality time, or bonding time. Not simply just time with the family.
The intentions and desires are there for parents. The problem is whether there is truly enough time in the day and week to spending time with family, quality time.
So, is there room for family bonding time? Yes, but with a conditional clause.
Families do have the opportunity to be spending time with family, but they must battle some issues. It simply comes do the question, who is winning the battle of your most meaningful time? It now seems as though everyone and everything is vying for our time.
But, Who Are We Giving Our Valuable Time To?
Where have we placed our values? Who or what is winning the battle for your valuable time? Over work, entertainment, commitments, desires, money, or people outside of your family?
If we look at our daily routine schedule, who is the winner? Work? For most parents, work would win, but why? Are we working to provide for our family or become successful on prideful level?
These are the difficult questions, but the much needed questions to find the opportunity to have family bonding time.
I am sure you are already trying to figure out how to spend more time with your family, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be reading this. So how do we make it happen?
Finding The Secret To Family Bonding Time
Parents and families need to see their lives and their present situation and get creative, find open opportunities, and make a commitment.
1. Get Creative
Have you been looking for good ideas for your family? Are you sick of your kids spending so many hours in front of video games, television, or the internet? Well, it is time to get creative with your family.
You know what I mean. Remember how we use to play before technology entered the world. We got creative. We would build forts in the living room. We started carnivals in the front yard. We would create our play time. Sadly, children have lost this creativity.
Parents have that an opportunity. Help your kids come up with creative games to play with them. This is a sure fire to spending time with family that matters.
Here is a great resource for getting creative with your family.
2. Find Open Opportunities
Maybe it will take some energy and focus, but there are open holes in your schedule? I will call them opportunities. We need to maximize our quality family time.
Do you need to sacrifice 30 minutes in one window and 15 minutes in another window? What could you do in those 45 minutes?
Some of the greatest secrets to finding family bonding time is looking for opportunities or making opportunities. Just as you would save up your coin change over 5 years and end up with hundreds or thousands of dollars, the same is true with minutes.
Imagine if you transformed your already family time of 2 hours everyday to 1 hour of good family bonding time. You will be investing 31 hours per month into good quality time. In one year, you will have invested just over a total of 15 days extra with your family. That is an additional staycation of 2 weeks every year.
Finding opportunities is crucial and your family will love you for it.
3. Make A Commitment
The last secret is making a commitment and holding to it. This is your family. When all things are gone, your family remains.
Be committed to spending time with your family and not just time, family bonding time. Do not put it in your calendar as tentative or flexible, make an appointment. Make a decision to protect this valuable time and priceless family. It will make a world of difference.
Go Grab Your Family Bonding Time
This is your opportunity to invest into your family. Your children have picked up that you are stressed out and tired. They want you, Mom. They want you, Dad. I believe we act now and find ways to have quality family time, family bonding time.Featured background image courtesy of bplanet / FreeDigitalPhotos.net