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The diminishing idea of ‘family time’

Family time and quality time are some words that we hear quite often nowadays. The concept of family time has been around since a long time. Earlier, family time meant a family vacation or an outing but today, it’s all about keeping technology at bay while spending time with family. ‘Technoference’ or interference of technology while spending time with family is a rising concern in today’s time.
Rules for an ideal family time
While spending time with family, there are some rules that one must adhere to:
  1. Keep away from technology The very idea of having ‘family time’ revolves around the concept of spending time with family members, away from technology and other distractions.
  2. Dine together Dining together, as frequently as possible, helps strengthen the bond with each other
  3. Keep the weekends open for family An important aspect of family time is spending time doing things together. It is advised to keep the weekends open for family time, as all the members of the family will be present.
  4. Do not carry the work tension home It is often suggested to not carry the work tension home. The idea behind family time is to do away with stress by focusing on the family. By carrying work home, one tends to feel irritable and stressed all the time. This may lead to a friction among the family members.
Importance of family time
Family time is important for various reasons like:
  1. To build a bond with other members of the family
  2. To talk and listen
  3. To help children learn values
  4. To show affection, appreciation and encouragement
  5. To connect with children
  6. To share the chores
Ways to spend time with family
There are some ways by which a family can spend time with each other. Some of them are:
  1. Cook together
The family can cook a meal together. Cooking a meal together will involve everyone contributing their time and working together to create dishes.
  1. Go out on trips/picnics
Picnics are great ways to discover and explore new places. Family picnics not only provide the time and space for families to spend time with each other, but also provides an opportunity to visit new places.
  1. Read together
Reading books together makes the activity fun and instills reading habits in children.
  1. Play a game/sport together
Sports will help maintain physical health. Families can choose sports like throwball, badminton, tennis, etc. or indoor games like ludo, chess, monopoly, etc.
  1. Celebrate festivities together
Festivals are occasions where the entire family comes together. Celebrating festivities together is a great way to ensure family time.
  1. Take up a hobby together
The family can take up a hobby together like gardening, painting, trekking, etc. and spend time with each other.
What happens when there is no family time?
A lot can happen when family members fail to make time for each other. Some ills of not having a family time are:
  1. Behavioural issues in children
A recent research conducted by researchers at Illinois State University and the University of Michigan Medical school has found a link between parents’ technology use and the child’s behaviour. The research has found parents to be spending a lot of time on smartphones and using it during family-time, leading to minimal interaction with children. Behavioural issues range from temper tantrums, mood swings to depression.
  1. Family bond weakens
When families fail to spend time with each other, the bond they share weakens. This may lead to mistrust among members.
  1. Emotional distress
Children whose parents are frequently away tend to feel emotionally distressed than children who get to spend sufficient time with their parents. A research has found that kids who spend time with their parents tend to develop a happy outlook in life.
  1. A child’s academic performance suffers
Family time or time spent with children helps improve their academic performance as well. A child who does not get to spend time with family not only suffers emotionally, but academically as well.
  1. Increased dependency on social media and technology
The lesser the time spent with family members, the higher is the time spent on social media. When family time reduces, the screen time increases, which further leads to various health issues.
  1. Communication among family members is affected
A decrease in family time affects the communication among the members of the family.
Benefits of family time
With researches emphasizing the importance of family time, there are various benefits of spending time together like:
  1. Building confidence
Family time builds confidence and helps to discuss problems. Discussing problems helps in finding a solution.
  1. Building rapport with other family members
Family time helps a person to understand other members and this in turn helps to develop the relation.
  1. Teaching children how to interact with others
Children learn from the other members in the family. Family time provides an opportunity for the child to interact with family members.
  1. Reducing behavioural problems in children
Behavioural problems like mood swings and temper tantrums are under control when parents start spending more time with their children.
    1. Happy state of mind
    Talking to the members in the family creates a happy state of mind and helps in the overall development of a person
    1. Developing parenting skills
    Research has shown an improved parenting skill in those parents who consciously make time for their children.
    With the development of technology, the time and appreciation given to another person has come down to a great extent. Efforts should be taken to develop a ‘gadget-free’ time with the members in the family.