Why Family Time is Critical in Today’s Day and Age

Family time is a non-negotiable these days if you have children. The world has become progressively more complex and challenging for our youngsters. Just as our world as an adult has become more demanding.

In research with successful business men I found that more than half of the group had left parenting up to their wives. Several of the men travelled quite a bit in their job leaving them little family time. One executive became quite emotional when he shared that he had missed important events in his daughters’ lives due to work commitments. When he tried to make time to connect with his daughters as adults, they had their own lives and did not have time for him. He evidently seriously regretted not having made time for them when they were small.

So what are some of the benefits of family time? In my view there are distinct benefits for both children and parents.

Benefits for Your Children

Most parents want to know they have raised well-balanced children with sound values who have turned into good citizens. They also want children who are financially independent and are able to hold down good jobs.

Through regular family time you build up a strong bond with your children. This bond becomes more critical as they grow up. If the bond is close you will know what is going on in their lives. If you are present for them physically and emotionally, you will recognise potential dangers and be able to talk to them about it e.g. seeing your son withdraw or mix with a somewhat dubious crowd. You will be in a position to take preventive action and to have conversations on tricky subjects.

If you did not create a safe space for them just to have fun and do interesting activities with you when they were small, you may struggle to truly connect with them as teenagers. Spending time with them enables you to gain an understanding of your children: how they experience and see the world. Time with them allows you to have conversations in the moment or teaching moments around an incident. In these you pass on your values and shape theirs.

Family time will help focus their energies on constructive activities and hobbies where they will learn crucial life skills around resilience, relationships, working together, etc. It is inevitable that they will go through difficult phases. Close family time, and being fully present will create a space for them to open up about some of the challenges they face. A senior manager who has sons often talks to his teenage sons about moral issues. He talks to them about their approach to their sport and what they are learning about themselves. This gives him the chance to hear their views and shape their thinking, life skills and values.

So regular family time will most certainly have a positive impact on your children and the values they learn from you. You shape the kind of citizens they become. Through close family time you will have a positive impact on their mental and emotional well-being. In turn you will feel more at ease about your children.

Benefits for You Personally

Family time offers you a safe place of belonging with like-minded people. Hopefully! Family time offers you a safe haven, some respite from the rigours of work life and a place where you can relax and just be.

For you as a parent family time can offer greater peace of mind seeing how your children are developing as individuals. It offers you an opportunity to take on a mentor role with your children. Through you and your spouse they learn about relationships, conflict handling, problem-solving, loving, respecting and caring for one another.

The unexpected gifts of family time, is just how much we can learn from our children….if we are open to this. Family time brings these little jewels of interaction when we least expect it. Your life will be enriched in ways that no business deal could equal! You will be touched by the innocence, the wisdom and the humour of precious souls.

If you are lucky, you will get feedback from your children too. Often pretty honest messages about how they perceive you. These are opportunities for further conversations and for greater emotional intimacy and bonding. If our ego can handle it! And for those times when it may be hurtful, it gives us a chance to show our children our vulnerable side. As uncomfortable as it may be for us, these moments often strengthen the bond even further.

Close family time will make you feel more content. It will also boost your immune system and lower your stress levels. Family time brings you authentic relationships.

Family time offers you an opportunity to build a legacy of how you want to be remembered by your children one day.  So if you invest in family time where you are fully present for everyone, you will without a doubt reap the rewards. You may well value some family counselling. Being a conscious parent and consciously making family time can be an immensely challenging task, but also by far the most rewarding one.


Marge Kennedy

In truth a family is what you make it. It is made strong, not by number of heads counted at the dinner table, but by the rituals you help family members create, by the memories you share, by the commitment of time, caring, and love you show to one another, and by the hopes for the future you have as individuals and as a unit.


To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.

Thomas Moore

Family life is full of major and minor crises — the ups and downs of health, success and failure in career, marriage, and divorce — and all kinds of characters. It is tied to places and events and histories. With all of these felt details, life etches itself into memory and personality. It’s difficult to imagine anything more nourishing to the soul.



Posted in Family, Relationships.