The holidays are the perfect time to reconsider your work/life balance, and smart leaders recognize the importance of taking time to make great memories with loved ones.
Of course, celebrating with those we truly care about may mean passing up office parties for Holiday movie time with kids or volunteering to help feed the homeless.
Finding quality time in this busy day and age is a challenge, but not impossible.
Here are a few thoughts on why spending quality time with family is more important than you think:
Studies Show that Spending Time with Family is Important
Research has shown that family time has profound benefits. Scientists at the University Of California have found that there’s a 9% better chance of dying earlier if you’re lonely. Elderly persons generally place more importance on relationships than younger ones, and are also more tolerant of faults in their family members because they don’t like being alone.
Family Builds Self-Esteem
It’s been proven that children spending quality time with family have higher levels of self-confidence. They become more sociable when they know their parents value them, and find it easier to build relationships with their peers.
Family Creates Bonds
Even with any associated stresses, spending time with family strengthens family ties. Busy parents know it’s a luxury for parents to spend time with their kids these days, but making those moments happen on a regular basis ensures YOU will be teaching your kids valuable life lessons like kindness and fairness.
After all, do you really want someone else teaching your kids their values?
Family Nurtures Positive Behaviors
Kids develop positive behaviors when they’re influenced by their loved ones. A 2012 study shows children regularly eating with their families perform better in school. Teenagers spending more time with their parents don’t abuse alcohol as much as their peers.
Family Time Creates Communication
Want your kids to invite you into their lives? Ask them an open-ended question, like “What’s going on in school?” Then actually listen to their response, and only provide advice if they ask for it.
Family Makes For Healthier Lifestyles
Spend more time with family and odds are excellent you’ll remind each other to eat more nutritious meals.
Family Relieves Stress
Talking about your worries automatically eases those worries. Spending some time chatting with your loved ones will help to reduce your own stress.
But…I have so little time!
Need ways to spend time with your family without feeling stretched? Consider these strategies:
Sit down for dinner so you can have family conversations. Walk around the neighborhood with them after dinner to provide time to teach life lessons. Also remember that children are naturally curious and love fixing broken items, will enjoy reading with you (improving their language skills), and like getting surprise texts or notes in their lunch.
Even if your teenager seems distant, there are opportunities to connect while driving to school. Volunteer together for causes that appeal to them. Always ask open-ended questions to avoid the dreaded one-word answer.
And, for everyone’s sake, always keep a sense of humor!
Call your elderly parents so they don’t feel lonely. Invite them over for a meal and cook together. It is always special for a parent to connect with their child, at any age.
Here’s the most important person in your life, so keep in touch with instant messages throughout the day and turn your mobile phone off when you are alone together. Start your day together over breakfast or a quick cup of coffee. Or take a nightly jog or walk in the park together, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised what it does for your home environment.
Creating a group chat on Facebook or Whatsapp will help you to keep in touch with cousins, aunts, uncles, and the rest. Yes, even crazy Aunt Freda!
Sure, you’re busy putting the finishing touches on your strategies for the coming year, and you really NEED to work late tonight. But as the late Senator Paul Tsongas once observed, “No one on his deathbed ever said, I wish I had spent more time on my business.
So as you’re planning for 2020 and beyond, remember to build a plan for being successful with your family, too.
Happy holidays from all of us at Renaissance Executive Forums!