“Make time for your immediate and extended family”. In a world where families fall apart 50% of the time—yes, 50% of marriages end in divorce, there is nothing more critical than spending quality time with those you love.
Relationships take time, effort, and interaction. Is there any anyone or anything in life that is more important than your loved ones? Is it worth organizing your life so that they can be included? As you are defining where and how you will spend your time, have you engineered family time into your life?
You may have answered those questions affirmatively. However, you may—at the same time—be asking, “How can I find the time for my spouse, significant other, kids, grandkids, etc? I have work obligations; I travel to and from work—and that takes lots of time; I’m trying to work out to stay healthy; I have to grocery shop, cook, clean the house—etc. and etc.!!” All this is true, isn’t it!! There are so many demands on people today. We are all torn in multiple directions—constantly.
So, what is the answer? The answer lies in your desire to prioritize your immediate family (spouse and kids, grandkids) and extended family (siblings, their children, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc). And, if you decide to prioritize these loved ones in your life, then time management becomes essential if this prioritization is to become a reality.
Remember from a previous post that it is the quality of the time that matters as much as the quantity of time. However, both are, of course, essential.
Spend a few minutes analyzing your own life and analyze how and where you are spending your time. Then, go to my post on time management and see if you can’t use 10 minutes per hour for 8 hours each day more effectively. Can you give up 10 minutes of TV, social media, ‘messing’ around time? If so, you can find an additional hour and 20 minutes per day to spend with your loved one or ones.
When you spend time with your loved ones—give them your full attention. A few minutes of full attention and conversation of worth outweighs many hours where attention is divided or where conversation is about something irrelevant or uninteresting to the “other”.
With your extended family—or immediate family members who do not live with you—you will have to schedule time with them. Catch a weekend when you can get together. Grab a cup of coffee together. Share a meal. Pick up the phone and call. Send a note. Make effort to stay connected. Otherwise, time, space, and life will cause the relationship to wane. The love may not evaporate, but the connectedness, the community, the closeness will diminish. Stay in touch. Make the effort. You may have to give up something in order to keep that connection. Do so. In the end, who means more? In the end, who will be with you when you need help, support, love? It will be family.
In terms of your children, being present, establishing expectations, setting parameters and living those every day will provide the discipline they need and (actually) want. The daily news describes unbelievable events about kids who have gone astray—and we wonder how that could possibly happen. Well, take a look at their home life—or the lack thereof.
The more you give to your family, the more they will give to you. The more attention and dedication you offer to your family, the more they will be able to respond in kind.
People often say that nothing is more important than family. If you believe that, then ask yourself if your actions exemplify that belief. If not, you can alter. If yes, then continue. Good job.
Make time for your immediate and extended family.