Making Memories to Last a Lifetime

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How much quality family time do you spend with your family? With today’s busy lifestyles, it’s sometimes difficult to arrange everyone’s schedule for family time. However, spending quality time together is important. Spending time together helps to build family bonds, trust, and memories that will last a lifetime. It doesn’t have to be big, huge trips to create quality time; often it is the simple things that can bring us together.

I remember as a child my family ate dinner every weeknight together. We would sit around the table as a family and talk about the day’s events or whatever was on our minds. I didn’t realize how special that quality family time was until I was older. That is one of the traditions I carried on when my children were younger. Whenever we ate dinner at home, it was around the dinner table and all electronics were turned off. Having a meal with your family is a great way to open the lines of communication and have conversations with each other. For some people, spending quality family time might be playing board games, going to the park, fishing, or whatever your family enjoys doing together. Sometimes it might require doing something that your children or spouse like to do.

One of the biggest excuses we utilize is we don’t have the time with our busy schedules. So try to schedule the time on a calendar with important dates and stick to it. Take a moment to play a game they want to play or sit and watch their favorite show with them. They will always remember that.

The time families spend together varies from family to family. Families with younger children usually spend more time together, because the children require the time. Families with teenagers may spend less time together because of other commitments and, well let’s face it, teenagers often want time away from parents. Sometimes it is not the quantity of time we spend together but the quality of time. It is a time for family bonding, building trust with one another, and having fun. Quality time with family is a good time to communicate openly and listen to each other. Healthy families keep a good balance of work, school, extracurricular activities, and family time. Quality family time is the perfect way to build strong family relationships.

These family relationships you are building are the starting points for all of your family members’ other relationships in the future. Modeling relationships at an early age and maintaining them through the years is important for a healthy family. In today’s society, spending quality family time together is not something that usually just happens, it takes effort from all family members. If your children realize family time it is important to you, it will probably be important to them. Allocating that special time will teach your children the value of family and how important it is to make the time for the ones you love.

For more information, please contact Wendy Maynor, Extension 4-H Program Assistant with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 671-3276, by E-mail at Wendy_Maynor@ncsu.edu, or visit our website at http://robeson.ces.ncsu.edu/. North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation.