Guarding Family Time

Family connectedness has a ton of benefits.
By Julie Baumgardner
October 9, 2017

A typical day in the life of a family: The alarm clock goes off. Parents wake up children. Chaos ensues as family members fight for the bathroom, get ready and eat breakfast to be out the door on time. You race to the car, prepare for battle with traffic, drop the kids off at school, and head to work feeling like you have already lived an entire day.

It’s still not time to crash after working all day, whether on a job or in school. Soccer, piano, dance, and a parent meeting are all on the agenda. Then it’s time to head home, eat dinner, do homework, take showers, and crawl into bed. And you know that tomorrow’s routine will be pretty much the same.

Is this the story of your life?

Do you ever wish you could stop the merry-go-round and get off – just for a short time? The truth is you can.

Sandy Calhoun realized her life was spinning out of control, and she decided to do something about it.

“This was even before we had children,” Calhoun said. “I realized my life was a train wreck. I was working crazy hours, and the life was being sucked right out of me. At that point, I decided to get off the fast track. I quit my job that required extensive travel. I stopped worrying about the house being clean all the time, and I didn’t worry about the laundry.”

Now that children are in the mix, Calhoun still has to be careful not to get back on the entrance ramp to the fast track.

“With two children involved in different activities, life can get crazy if we aren’t intentional about saying no to certain things,” Calhoun said. “It is easy to end up like ships passing in the night. We have said it is a priority to spend time together as a family, and we are committed to making that happen. 

“We only get one shot at being with our girls. I am continually reminding myself not to sweat the small stuff. The girls don’t care if the house is perfect. They just want to spend time with us.”

As a family, do you need to guard your family time by taking time to enjoy each other’s company?

Turn off the iPhone, tablet, and television and do something fun. If it has been a long time since you just hung out together, you might start with these things:

  • Make a meal together and eat as a family.
  • Go play mini golf.
  • Take a picnic and games to play at the park.
  • Hike outdoors.
  • Ride bikes.
  • Build a campfire, make s’mores and eat them.

Studies show that family connectedness is essential to health and human flourishing, and strong families build strong communities. Over-committed families in too much of a hurry and parenting from a distance contribute to feelings of disconnectedness. In contrast, families who prioritize time together build strong bonds. Guarding that family time can make you stronger!

Other resources:

How to Connect at Family Mealtimes

8 Ways to Manage Family Time

Making the Most of Family Time

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