In these hectic times, it's hard to slow down when you are working a strict 9-5 schedule. It's even harder when you are nurturing a family of, say, two children and you barely have time to see them during a weekday. You might even think that the kids would rather enjoy spending time with their friends more than with the family, and while this might be true for the pubescent 13-year-old, you can't let your children forget the values of family time.
The family is an important part of your life, and it will define you for the rest of your life. Your relationships with the other members of your family will shape who you are and how you fit in with the rest of the family dynamic. There is no denying that the bonds you form with your family cannot be matched in any way with other bonds you may form, even with a loved one. The family unit gives you strength, character, and guidance to help direct your life – you've heard many kids say they want to do what their parents do when they grow up. This is why it is important to emphasize these details to the rebellious teen who may believe otherwise – it is important to set some groundwork to allow children to work with from a young age.
You cannot underestimate the impact of having family dinner every night. Numerous studies have demonstrated that children who did not regularly have dinner with their parents had a stronger tendency to abuse drugs like alcohol and marijuana, and simply did not develop nearly as strong a relationship with their family as children whose families made an effort to have a sit-down dinner every night.
Simple family activities like game night or road trips undoubtedly build healthier relationships among family members as well. You might see commercials that showcase a board game like Monopoly or Clue, and you see everyone is having fun in a silly kind of way. Admittedly, it is a commercial but it is reminding viewers that in this world of divorces and child custody battles, you cannot let the idea of family interaction and values escape your sight. A simple night of games with family ensures that even if you can't be as happy as that family on the screen, you can develop stronger ties with your family. A road trip is even better – spending a couple of days on the road takes out the ever-familiar home environment and really allows the family to grow with each other in a different setting.
Without your family, you lose a sense of identity. Setting apart quality time with your family maintains healthy relationships with family members and establishes a strong, functional family unit.