5 Ways To Give More Attention And Focus To Your Family
- This may apply only to a patriarchal society, but one of the biggest mistakes you can ever make as the head of a family is to show your wife or your children that they can live without you. They begin to lose interest in you or your presence when they are forced to adapt to going days without your presence.
- It is important for you to know that the presence referred to in that preceding statement is both physical and emotional. It cuts across emotional presence to a spiritual one- all of these come together to create that solid family bond that is hard to be broken. Still, this bond can be severed by any family member’s notorious habit of nonchalance.
It is important to sound a strong note of warning at this point. Everyone in a family should know that it is difficult to balance deep involvement and attachment to family affairs with simultaneously engaging in a demanding profession/career. In essence, it is quite difficult to combine a job/ career, especially a demanding one, with a hundred percent attention to the family; this is the case because both ventures can be extremely demanding. This is the challenge that breadwinners in the family have always encountered- a father who provides for the family by working several jobs or pursuing a career that is extremely demanding and time-consuming may find it difficult to give his family the attention that they need; while they running around juggling between tasks, it may be quite difficult to pay attention to the tiny details of their children’s growth. This is the situation of a mother who probably has to juggle shifts. Despite the difficulty in connecting to those who need attention, it is important to make sacrifices. With enough sacrificial acts and love displayed, some lapses may be overlooked, but not even this can not happen for too long.
To put into perspective, a man who serves in the military and is deployed will surely have excuses not to reach out to his family or partner. Whether or not these excuses are genuine, it is only a matter of time before they begin to experience some disconnection. Although both parties can make efforts to push this disconnection further away, this happens eventually.
How close is your family?
One of the biggest challenges, if not the biggest challenge, facing the U.S. today is the breakdown of the traditional family unit. AllProDad, in an article, stated that; “Today nearly 4 out of 10 first marriages end in divorce, 60% of divorcing couples have children, and over one million children each year experience the divorce of their parents.”
It is quite convenient to say that families can resort to a certain set of values and principles that will constantly hold them together, no matter what life throws at them, but these vows need serious commitments; not only to avoid break-ups in the family but also to make sure that the family is reunited even after a breakup
Why do I feel no connection to my family?
Naturally, we are hard-wired to seek emotional and psychological attachment to our nuclear genetic relatives; after all, we are bound by blood. This closeness is necessary because the more family members connect and help each other, the greater the chances of their gene pool to survive and reproducing.
In rather elaborate terms, there is an inherent expectation from everyone that belongs to a family to establish some level of bond and closeness with other family members. This is especially true for parent-child relationships. If this is the case, why do family members notice severity and disconnections amongst themselves? However, while you can be disconnected from siblings and extended family members when people say they feel disconnected from their family, they usually mean parents. This is because the expectation of getting your needs met is the highest with parents. Children have high expectations from their parents because they depend on them long before they can fend for themselves.
Oftentimes, a reason that children feel so much disconnection from their parents is their expectations. When they expect so much connection and bromance from their parents, and they are not getting it, this leads to a huge disappointment, and gradually they begin to pull away, looking for other means to feel accepted and loved. In a nutshell, the greater the expectation, the greater the disappointment (and disconnection). When children believe their parents have been inadequate in meeting their needs, they feel disconnected from them; when this happens, the nature to innate yearn to seek a reciprocal relationship is activated, and they now begin to look either within or outside the family, to find the void that has been left open. Disconnection kicks in when we think our needs aren’t being met in a relationship. The purpose of these feelings is to motivate us to move away from the relationship to find better, mutually beneficial relationships. Let’s look at some specific reasons for feeling disconnected from your family:
It is natural for a person to feel unattached to the family that once abused them. Hence, if your family members abused you, you may want to look outside the family for a mutually beneficial relationship. Disconnecting from a toxic relationship is a defense the mind uses to prevent further harm. Abuse by a person one once confided in has even graver consequences than a mere disconnection from family; it may lead to other long-term psychological effects.
While you can tell when abuse is happening, neglect is more subtle. A parent may not be abusive, but they may be, intentionally or unintentionally, neglectful. A child needs love, time, and other resources from parents. When parents fail to meet these needs, the child fails to form an attachment with them.
Childhood emotional neglect can range from not spending quality time to being absent physically and/or emotionally from the child’s life. Among other things, it leads to an emotionally detached relationship with parents.
It is natural to get close to those that care about us, provide for our needs, and naturally dissociate ourselves from those whose relationship does not benefit us but rather takes from us. However, to those we get too close, there is a thing as getting too close- that is what happens in enmeshment. In an enmeshed family, there is a tendency for overreliance on one another. The family members are over-reliant on each other. There’s no boundary between them, no privacy. The parents fail to see their child as an individual.
Children start to develop their own identities when they reach their teens. If they are enmeshed with their parents, a conflict arises between what they are and who they want to be, leading to disconnection.
4. Parental Favouritism
It is disastrous for parents to show favoritism in their dealings with children. When a child is favored over another, the others may begin to feel unloved, then dissociate themselves from the family. Hence, when parents re-direct their time, energy, and other resources to one child at the expense of other children. The neglected children pick up on this and develop resentment and disconnection.
5. Clash of Values
When adolescents embark on a journey to develop their identities, they have to leave who they’ve been to be what they want to be. Who they’ve been was borrowed from their parents, so there’s a clash of values between them and their parents. Since it’s hard to connect with those who don’t share your values, disconnection ensues.
6. Finding an alternative connection
If your parents could not take care of you during childhood, there is a possibility that someone else took it that responsibility; they must have taken it upon themselve to bring you to adulthood- this, in turn, creates some sort of attachment to such a person who has assumed the role of parenthood for you. Therefore, while we have an expectation of care from our closest genetic relatives, we can get attached to anyone who cares for us.
Ultimately, what counts for survival is getting love and care, not who we get it from. A child can’t reject the help of extended family members because the expectation originally lies with parents. You tend to get detached from someone when you get attached to someone. If extended family members cared for you more than your parents, you’d feel more attached to the former.
7. Lack of competencies
The sole essence of parenting is to help children develop the competencies and abilities to help them live meaningful lives and further help them thrive. Parents must teach children many mental, social, and life skills. If they fail to do so, the children feel unprepared to tackle the big bad world out there they have to step into. They feel unparented. Of course, when they realize they have not been adequately equipped for the challenges ahead, they resent those responsible for making it happen. Apart from the resentment felt, there is also an inevitable disconnection from the source, which is now scarcely trusted to help achieve life goals and further attachment or connection to an external source that will make it happen. This is why, when admiring their teachers or mentors, people often say, “He’s the father I never had.”
How to focus on the family
As explained earlier, it takes a lot of sacrifices to build that bond with one’s family. This is so because work gets in the way; responsibilities take one’s attention away from building that required bond with the family. But, if you want your family to be close, you must make it your responsibility to make that happen. For example, if that bond is to be built between couple, they just have to spice things up occassionally, with those romantic ideas for married couples. Here are ways to build a solid bond with one’s family.
1. Be the Leader of the family
This applies to the head of the family, whoever that may be; If you have a partner, you are co-leading, and if you are a single parent, you are the sole leader.
Your first step in leading your family might be to look at yourself in the mirror and honestly acknowledge what kind of leader your family deserves. What kind of partner does your significant other deserve? What kind of parent do your children deserve? What type of life do you deserve? As the leader of your family, you cannot leave the future up to chance. You must lead. The people around you are depending on you to do so.
When you assume a leadership role in your family, you assume the responsibility to design values and cultures to bring everyone together, strengthening the bond between each family member. As a family head, you will bear the power and duty to determine when it is time for an outing or a family get-together, with the consultation of other family members. All these activities, together, bring members of the family together in an admirable union.
2. Establish family values
Arguably, one of the biggest challenges facing our culture today is the lack of individuals’ understanding of personal values, resulting in a lack of family values. Part of the “good look at yourself in the mirror” discussed above is admitting what is truly important and meaningful to you. What person do you want to be, and what type do you need to have the life you deserve?
My values are the rules I live by, and my family values are the rules my family lives by. In a demanding, distracting, and overstimulating world, our personal and family values help us keep focused on things that are truly important and meaningful to us. The more you can focus on truly important things to you, the more meaningful and fulfilling your lives will be. As the leader, you have the power to make this happen.
3. Schedule Family Time
Whether you have school-aged children or teens, it takes planning to ensure you get enough quality time together.
Set aside time for family: Look at everyone’s schedule to see if any blocks of time can be designated family time. Try to select a regular night, maybe once a week, when the entire family gets together for a fun activity. By keeping this night on a regular schedule, everyone will know they must keep that night clear for family time.
Plan outings: Another way to incorporate family time into your schedule is to plan regular day trips. If this is something that sounds fun for your family, try to plan the trip for at least one month. Post it on the family calendar and ensure everyone knows the plan.
Make new traditions: Use your time to create family traditions, like carving pumpkins every Halloween or picking the first strawberries of the summer season together. Some families enjoy attending the same local festival every year or entering a 5K walk or run together. A new tradition coild be as simple as presenting gifts. It does not matter that your husband barely appreciate gifts, it is your job to figure out the gifts to give a husband that barely wants nothing and suprise him, once in a while. Husbands on the other hand, should also present some ‘just because i love her gifts’ to their wives- no special occassion is needed for the exchange of gifts.
How do you show your love to your family?
One of the simplest and most common ways of showing love to anyone or even a thing is by giving them attention and time. When you spend some time with your family, it becomes even easier to get closer to them. The reason is that you are more committed to whatever you give your time to. You just naturally feel more attached after some time. Apart from the time and attention, given to your family. Getting them present and taking care of your responsibilities, as your position may dictate, will help show your love and affection to them.
What are the 5 traits of a healthy family?
There are a few symptoms of a healthy and thriving family. A healthy family will do things together. They will stick together when confronted with difficulties and celebrate when times are good. A healthy family will join forces to confront external enemies; they will obliterate oppression, united. The members of a healthy family will seek each other’s well-being and support one another for growth.
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