Although Canada is a relatively individualistic country where independence and autonomy is valued, we celebrate ourselves as a nation that prides itself on the importance of family. With the province of British Columbia having declared Family Day a yearly holiday, it is evident that our values deeply revolve around spending time with our families, in whatever form our loved ones may come into our lives.
Outside of those we are biologically related to, families can include foster parents, co-workers, friends, neighbors, or anyone with whom we share a connection of the heart. The people we grow up around, especially our familial roots, shape us into who we become – the good, the bad, and everything in between. For this reason, it is safe to say, that no matter where life’s adventures take us, family is something that stays at the epicenter of our being. We are always reminded of them through our habits and personalities.
Especially with the onset of the pandemic, many have found themselves growing closer to their families, as families were forced to contain themselves within their homes. Not only did this make us realize how families can truly be our rock through thick and thin, but it also made us question whether we are spending enough time with our families in the hectic hustle and bustle of modern life. It is easy to take family for granted when we know that their unconditional support is always available, but here are a few easy-to-follow tips to carve out quality family time, no matter how busy life gets.
- Eat Together: As overheard as this may seem, it’s a fool-proof method. No matter how much you must accomplish in a day, you do have to eat. Try to schedule at least one meal together as a family and chat about all the cool thing that have happened during the day. If daily meals are too tough to slot in, weekly or monthly frequencies are possible.
- Try Something New Together: Be it a recipe that you attempt to cook together, or a new place that you decide to visit for a day trip, taking in the joy of trying something for the first time can be a great bonding experience. Over time, this may even become a tradition where you end up partaking in new experiences together!
- Play Games: Usually, families have been around each other long enough to have family favorites or childhood games. Bring out that old monopoly set and get to work. Healthy competition can really amp up the fun and serve as a reminder as to how much fun you can have with your favorite people.
- Create a Group Chat: In keeping up with the times, this is almost a must. It is the era of social media, after all. With everyone branching off to different facets of life eventually, online group chats can be used as a tool to keep in touch and stay in the loop about all that is going on in family members’ lives. Of course, keep the engagement at a level everyone is comfortable with. Alternatively, a simple note or text to say hi can go a long way.
- Celebrate Milestones: Schedule reminders for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, important events, and/or even appointments, if applicable. Not every milestone has to be celebrated with a party. Just getting a wish or congratulatory regard can make anyone feel special, bringing the family unit closer together.
By staying connected with our families, we not only pass down our values and traditions, but learn from a circle that we know has our best interests at heart. The strengthening of familial bonds brings out self-confidence and gives us a sense of belonging. Truly, the love and togetherness of families isn’t just a one-day occurrence, but a beacon of guidance and warmth that can be held on to for a lifetime!