Today, many families struggle to find quality time to spend with their families because of the demands of work and home. There just seems to never be enough time. Families want positive and meaningful moments with their families that will produce happy memories for the future. In history, families naturally spent time together. Historically, families would work, harvest, celebrate, grieve, play and rest together. The process was natural life experiences. Our society today is very focused on measuring time by the clock and technology. Many parents want to re-create the family time that they had as a child and pass along family traditions while creating their own. The main goal for these parents in regards to family time is to create positive childhood memories. I still remember camping trips, family dinners, days at the park and long bike rides with my family as a child. I try to give my daughter some of the same, wonderful experiences that I had as a child while intertwining her father’s childhood experiences and creating our own family experiences.
Another aspect of family time is togetherness. By spending time together as a family, promotes interactions, supports communication and fosters bonding time with one another, thus, building trust and connections. Penn State has designed packets called, Family Time – Strengthening Your Family, broken into age groups from ages 2 – 3 through ages 7 – 8 and are categorized by the season: summer, fall, winter, and spring. These packets give parents many ideas and examples of family time activities as well as suggestions on how to strengthen family connections. They can be found and downloaded for free online at: http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/PubTitle.asp?varTitle=family+time.
Many parents (including myself) are trying to find the balance between the demands of living in a fast pace world and trying to find quality time to spend with our family. By making an effort to set time aside for the family (eating meals together, planning family meetings or a game night), is a necessity for strengthening and nourishing family unity.