Last updated on February 25th, 2021 at 04:59 pm
As humans, we have a longing to connect with people. It’s innate; built right into us. It’s a huge reason why social media has all but taken over our lives. In spite of this longing, we often neglect the very people we love the most for the sake of, well, the less valuable. Most of us would agree that the only thing that really matters in life are the people in it. Let’s start showing our loved ones that they truly are what we value the most by being present with them. Here are some tips for making that happen:
1. Put down the devices.
Most of us spend way too much time on some kind of device. And most of us know that. But we just keep doing it. We keep scrolling through Facebook while our son is telling us one of his long-winded stories. We keep listening to our show while pretending to listen to our spouse. We keep checking emails instead of getting some sleep. We keep doing it because it’s an addictive behavior that crept up on us over time. Now we feel stuck. Our smartphones call to us. We never go anywhere without them. Last time I forgot my phone at home, I nearly panicked. I calmed myself down by reminding myself that I was an adult before I even got my first phone!
We can live without being constantly connected, but we have to choose to disconnect. Make a conscious effort to look your son in the eyes, or pause your show, or leave your phone in another room. It’s going to be difficult even though it’s really quite simple. It’s simple because all it involves is making that decision and then following through. It’s difficult because it’s a habit we don’t necessarily want to let go of. In this day and age, putting our devices down speaks volumes to how much we value our loved ones. [Also read: 6 Tips for Setting Screen-Time Boundaries.]
2. Schedule family time.
In our house, if it’s not on the schedule, it usually doesn’t happen. It seems a little weird to schedule time together as a family, but it actually works well! Our schedules fill up so fast with life, that it’s easy to go months without going on a date with your spouse or sitting down to dinner as a whole family. We want to prioritize these things, but life so easily gets in the way. Reserving time with your family on your calendar will go a long way in helping you all be more present with each other.
3. Develop a routine.
As you schedule time for your family, habits will form– the good kind of habits that draw family together. If eating dinner together is important to you, schedule it, and eventually it’ll just be part of what you do. Have a nighttime routine, whether it be reading to your kids before bed, or reviewing your day with your spouse. Whatever is important to your family, turn it into a routine, so being present with your family becomes a regular way of life.
4. Be willing to drop everything.
This is probably the hardest one for me. Even when I’m in the midst of doing a chore I’m not particular fond of, I still have a difficult time putting it down and focusing on whomever interrupted me. But I have never once regretted dropping everything for my loved one, and I almost always regret refusing to pay attention to them. In the end, it’s always worth being present with our family.
These simple changes can have a dramatic impact on your family’s life. A family who spends quality time together gets to know each other better, and will ultimately love each other well. Isn’t that what really matters in this life?
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