It may seem sad to say it but we live in a time where many people just don't take the time needed to spend with family. Just 20 or 30 years ago, families would do things together, talk about their day over dinner and enjoy family BBQs and other get-togethers. This isn't the case as much anymore. Is it that families no longer care about each other as much as they once did or is something else to blame?
I believe that people just don't know how to make time for family anymore. We live in a rushed society with a large focus on entertainment and things created to entertain us. We have video games, television, cable, movies, the Internet, books on tape, iPods, PDAs, laptops and a wealth of other gadgets and devices meant to entertain us but which also separate us from regular and natural human contact.
When you couple this with the fact that the average American works very hard, often pulling long shifts and extra hours at the job just to make ends meet it's easy to see why few families have as much time together as they should.
A great way to combat this is to schedule in family time every day and on a weekly basis. If you don't intentionally plan for it, it can be easy to let it slip past while everyone is busy with other activities. Sit down as a family and discuss it and let everyone help in choosing the date, times and activities.
While there should be some time (no matter how short) devoted to family each and every day, I highly suggest devoting one day (or part of a day) of each week to family. At our house, we have Family Day on Sundays.
This is a time where we all give up the gizmos and gadgets that keep us busy the rest of the week. The parents stop working, kids choose to stay home instead of run off with friends and we all do something together. Sometimes we go someplace, other times we stay home and play board games, watch movies together or we walk to the park and have physical activity together.
I can tell you as part of a family of six that Family Day doesn't happen unless everyone is willing to work for it. Each member of the family has to commit to making time for family and building a bond. Parents have to set the example for their children and this may be hard if you've spent a great deal of their lives not spending time together but it doesn't have to change overnight.
Begin with baby steps and devote yourself to spending more time with your family. Even if you don't have long hours to hang out together, make what time you do have quality time and everyone will benefit from the experience.