Human Connections

The importance of spending time with family

by Elizabeth Casella, Managing Editor

 

A young woman's hand clasps an aged, wrinkled hand.

Quality time with family members and those most important in one’s life can offer incredible bonding experiences that add immense value to life. (Photo By Elizabeth Casella, Managing Editor)

Family can be defined in several ways. It can mean the textbook definition of those that are related by blood to oneself, those who all live under the same house and members of the same group such as parents and their children. Less generic definitions refer to those that are closest to one, friends or neighbors that are always there, or any kind of support system. No matter what one’s definition of family consists of it is important to spend time with these people and recognize their value in one’s life. In simple terms, spending time as a family and with those members is a wise investment and is beneficial to one’s life.

Quality time together in person creates quality experiences that last a lifetime. Building that bond also creates an important support system that is needed throughout every stage of life. These members also create a sense of protection and identity.

Locked behind a phone can give one access to a world full of apps, news feeds and a multitude of games to pass time. However as a result, it can deprive from the real human connection that is needed to satisfy the soul and build skills, such as communication and how to interact in the real world, that are vital in life. In addition, it lacks any real emotional connection. Being in the same room as relatives and friends is not the same as actually interacting with them.

Playing a game together on an electronic device or watching TV and movies together, then concluding with a meaningful conversations about it is a great way to engage. Having a sit down meal, going out to museums or parks or anything else out in the world with family provide amazing opportunities. Something as simple as sitting down and having a conversation with those from different generations or backgrounds within your family will teach information that one may have never known and may give a better clue into one’s identity and history. It also can offer a different perspective of the world while becoming wiser from walking in another’s shoes.’

In middle school my mother’s parents both faced health issues, taking the life of my grandmother and leaving my grandfather handicapped. He had three strokes which left his left arm without any motor function and his left leg severely deteriorated. Being on his own for the first time in his life and now facing these health issues life was completely different and he was a different man as well. Everyone in the family had to step in to take greater care of him and in high school I took this opportunity to get to know a man that many knew little about because he used to be very reserved.

I am now his primary caretaker, while he still lives on his own and has an independent life, I am the go to for anything and everything he needs or wants. It has changed my life in the most amazing way to learn everything I can about his life and what he has lived through. He is the most important person in my life and I feel more connected to him than I have anyone else before.

Simply spending two days a week with him and taking the time to put down the phone and spend time with him like he used to back in his younger years, has brought incredible value to my life and those in my family that have done the same. We all are closer as a whole because of the human connection and bonding we build in person.

Taking advantage of these moments and building those bonds is important in life and there are endless ways to do this. Whatever definition of family that one has adopted, through the highs and lows, for support or advice and just enjoying life and experiencing new things they are there.