One of the most challenging aspects of being a parent is navigating the delicate balance between working to provide a better life for your family and spending quality time with them to further enrich their lives through your love and guidance. This is true of parents across the income spectrum but can prove particularly daunting for those in demanding careers that require ever-growing time commitments. Such was the case for retired executive and working Mother Teresa Wolande, who now owns and manages T.M.Y. Styles alongside her family. Teresa, who served as a senior executive of insurance giant Aon for 11 years, says it can be easy to get caught up in the daily struggles of work and prioritize its success above spending a few more hours with your family.
She believes that if parents better understood the importance of spending time together as a family and the positive impact it has on their children, they would find it harder to justify those endless overtime hours or nights spent tirelessly working at the home office. With that goal in mind, Teresa Wolande shares the following reasons why increased family time should be a top priority for every parent.
Children who have parents that are more actively involved in their lives and who show them more affection typically achieve greater academic success than their peers. That includes getting better grades, graduating from high school at greater rates, and attending college or university more frequently, all of which sets them up to have more success and happiness in life.
Impact on Behavior
Children are sponges that soak up the information, behaviors, and activities that they’re routinely exposed to in their environment. By being an active influence in their lives, says Teresa Wolande, parents can instill positive values and habits to guide their child’s development while at the same time giving them important subconscious cues about how to be a good parent themselves.
Children who spend more time with their families also greatly bolster their interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence, learning how to better communicate and resolve conflicts and to better interpret and respond to the actions of others. This leads to several noteworthy and quantifiable benefits, including fewer acts of violence and less drug abuse.
Stronger and More Adaptable Family
By routinely spending time together, family members will develop tight-knit bonds that will make them feel more secure and comfortable about their place in the world. That sense of belonging will give them more confidence as they step out into the world, knowing they’ll always have a place of love and understanding to return to.
Teresa Wolande adds that stronger family units will also be far better equipped to deal with the challenges that life is bound to present. They’ll also be able to better adapt to whatever changes life may have in store for them, such as a long-distance move that will require them to band together and support each other through a tumultuous time.
Final Thoughts from Teresa Wolande
Beyond the impacts on children and the family overall, spending quality time with family will also benefit you. Work-life balance sometimes seems so out of reach. By making more time to spend with your family, you will be closer to achieving that balance, which will positively impact you and your mental health.
Teresa Wolande notes that spending time with your family doesn’t have to be something that you use all of your free moments to do. Start by having one or two set nights a week that you eat dinner together as a family. Have one evening dedicated as “family night,” during which you do one activity together as a family, such as playing a board game or taking a bike ride together. By setting aside this time, you are still making family time a priority.