If someone were to ask how you are doing, odds are, you would simply reply with “busy.” Because, well, we are a society of busy. Between work, school, extra-curricular activities, appointments, errands, housework… We are all in a constant state of frenzy and chaos. And the thought of maybe trying to get in a meal or two … Who has time for that?!
As a result of this “busy,” we are often put in a position to choose what takes priority. Clearly grocery shopping and soccer practice aren’t optional; thus, this doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for other things, such as family game nights, or even a full night of sleep on most days. And while this is very common, and even normal for most families, it is certainly not ideal.
There might be a few really important things that are getting missed out on because of a busy lifestyle. Making time for family connection and collaboration is crucial for the family bond. It is helpful to schedule these events on the calendar, the same way you would for other obligations, so that they don’t get pushed to the wayside… A few things to consider adding to the family calendar:
1. Family Fun: One of the things to get lowest priority in a family’s busy schedule is time for fun. Keep in mind, family fun does not have to include outlandish or expensive outings, but rather can consist of boardgames or movie nights. Scheduling a family night at least a couple times a month provides opportunity for laughter and invaluable memories. This activity should most certainly be moved up on the priority list.
2. Regular Communication: Getting lost in the hustle and bustle of daily life often prevents quality and intentional communication from taking place between family members. However, a lack of communication often breeds conflict, misunderstandings, and disconnect. Try to schedule out a few minutes per day to check in with each member of the family to foster connection. Additionally, consider scheduling family meetings a couple times per month to proactively open up lines of communication.
3. Family Traditions: When people think of traditions, they often think specifically about holidays and seasonal changes. Yet, family traditions can consist of family dinners, monthly themes, and even sweet nighttime rituals. Finding ways to incorporate tradition creates a special uniqueness for your family unit and enhances the bond.
4. Giving Back: The act of giving back can be a very valuable and rewarding family activity. It provides the opportunity to reflect on the blessings in your lives, as well as promotes teamwork and cooperative efforts among family members. Engaging in volunteering and charitable opportunities helps create a family culture of collaboration, empathy, and generosity.