Spending quality time with your family
By Suvrita (Childish Giggle)
There may be many things going on in a teenager's life, such as school, homework, friends, and relationships. In this fast track life, we can sometimes forget our families. Even when we are with them physically we are not always present mentally. Often we are too busy texting people to find out about the events of our family's lives.
Why is there a need to spend quality time with our family?
Do you often fight with your siblings and parents? Do you feel frustrated that they don't understand you? Do you feel that they hate you?
If the only time you spend with your family is when you are fighting with them or busy doing some other work in their presence, then you need to stop and work out a routine to spend more time with them. Why? Because having no family time leads to a communication gap. How will you ever understand the meaning behind their words if the only time you are around them is when you are either not paying attention or arguing with them? There is a need to be around them when it's only you and them. Everything else in the world can be put on hold for a little while, like what's going on in your friend's life, or disagreements you've had with your family in the past. There's a difference between spending time with your family and spending quality time with them, so you need to make sure that the time that you spend with your family is the latter.
Tips for spending quality time
The most important thing while spending quality time is to not carry your mobile phones during this time. Switch them off for a little while. The world won't come to an end if you are without your cell phone for an hour or so!
Make it mandatory for everyone to be present at the breakfast/lunch/dinner table if possible. Try and ensure that everyone eats together at least once a day. Reserve this time for sharing about how your day was, your plans for the future, and other meaningful topics of discussion.
Spend individual time with each family member. Father-daughter, mother-daughter, father-son, mother-son, and sibling-sibling times are very important. When we are alone with them, we get to know them on a different level than when we are with them in a group of people. You can choose a particular day/time for spending time with each of them. You can go out for lunch/dinner or cook together. There is nothing more fun than cooking with your family!
Start having appreciation days! You can choose a particular day when everyone sits together and writes down at least one thing that they appreciate about each member of the family on a piece of paper. Everyone can put these sheets of paper in a bowl and read them aloud. This brings members of a family closer. We often think that a family member doesn't like us, especially our siblings, but at this time we find out that they really appreciate some of our qualities, and these can even be the qualities that they sometimes make fun of but in reality think otherwise.
Do they know that you love them?
If not, then tell them! They might just tell you something that you have never known. You can be creative and tell this in different ways:
Leave notes or sheets with this written somewhere they can see it.
Put a chocolate on their bed with a note saying that you love them.
Go to their room one night, hug them tight, give them a kiss and tell them that you love them.
While you're arguing with them, take a break for once and tell them that you love them and that this argument is over.
Make a small card.
Send them a text/e-mail.
Bake them a cake/muffin with this message.
Surprise them with tickets to a show/game that they love.
Many of us might not even want to make an effort to try any of these suggestions, which is just proof of how strained your relationship has become with your family. Is that what you want? Our families know us better than anyone else. The people that you are living with can see your every action and know you in a way that no outsider ever can. Friends will come and go but your family will always be there for you. You might not be having a very good relationship with them right now but it is never too late to start fresh. Make a promise to yourself today that no matter what, you are going to make an effort to rectify this aspect of your life.