Familyties are so important – and strong bonds between family members can lead to greater life satisfaction and a deeper commitment to faith for all members.
Unfortunately, our world often removes the family emphasis and puts it on career goals or personal acheivements. Online activities and television also play a big role in shifting family ties.
For that reason, understanding the way families can drift apart and how to come back together is critically important.
Families Grow Distant Thanks to Tech and Work
A study from the University of Southern California found that 28 percent of Americans admit to spending less time with their families because of online activities. Approximately 44 percent of household members felt ignored by others due to online activities, and 48 percent said that TV was the biggest distraction in the home.
Aside from devices that can decrease communication in the home, there are also work issues. About 60 percent of people say they’ll work extra hours, even if they’re unpaid, to get the job done. It’s very important to teach children the value of hard work, but those extra hours take away from precious time spent with family.
Stress at work also makes it hard for parents to be present and cheerful at home. Nearly half of Americans say that work stress impacts their personal lives, and 35 percent say it impacts their family time.
Family Vacations Renew Focus
Teaching your kids about the importance of hard work is an essential and noble aspect of parenthood. Furthermore, technology can sometimes be a constructive tool for families. You may not be able to cut back at work or cut out technology, but you can focus on more wholesome and uplifting family activities in your spare time.
As families adopt new habits and take advantage of opportunities to grow closer, their focus on media distractions will start to diminish. Parents will relieve work stress and be more present and mindful in the home.
Regular family vacations are essential and research shows that vacations result in stronger family ties. Work can take a back seat and you can live in the present.
The memories created on vacations last a lifetime. It’s hard not to look back at that family camping trip or beach vacation in Miami without feeling love and affection for those you shared it with.
If you’re looking for opportunities to help your children grow in faith, this time is invaluable. Stepping away from your technology allows your children to watch you more closely. They’ll see the way you practice and cherish your faith, and can ask questions or accept guidance.
You can also find teaching moments in this space. It’s easy, for example, to talk about the beauties of the world and how God spent time on multiple parts of the earth during the creation. It shows a bigger picture and lets your children see the influence of their faith on a larger scale.
Choose Family-Friendly Vacations for Bonding
It’s tempting to book a vacation that offers activities for everyone, particularly if they’re older. Rather than booking a weekend in the spa for the adults and a theme park trip for your teens, invest in a family trip that will keep you together.
Below is a list of places where you can be together with your family, while all having a good time. The stresses of theme parks and crowded streets will disappear, and it will be just you and your family exploring the world together.
- Grand Canyon
- White Mountains, N.H.
- Oregon Coast
- Miami, Florida
- Andros Island, Bahamas
- Telluride, CO
- Yellowstone National Park
- Washington D.C.
- Yosemite National Park
- San Diego, CA
- U.S. Virgin Islands
In any of these locations, you can discover and participate in various recreational acts. There’s something for everyone. Never forget that the family that plays together stays together, and your next family vacation can play a big part in achieving that result.