I am usually very busy with work. What activities can I do to increase interaction and communication with my family?
According to our "Hong Kong Family Wellbeing Index", "family solidarity" and "work-life balance" are two very important elements to achieve "family wellbeing". "Family solidarity" includes family time, family atmosphere, family responsibilities, care and support. "Work-life balance" means pursuing the average distribution of work, personal and family time. Thus, it is imperative to deftly manage work and family commitments.
To achieve "work-life balance," it is crucial to allocate enough time for family members and identify opportunities for "quality family time" despite time limitations. This can be done by putting away mobile devices, avoiding criticism or interruption, listening attentively to each other's thoughts and emotions, and engaging in various family activities to enhance interaction and communication. This allows you to foster understanding and strengthen the family relationship in the limited time spent together.
Apart from setting aside extra time, parents can make good use of daily routines to connect with their children by turning off the TV, removing smartphones and tablets during meal times. This allows you to engage in meaningful conversations with your children.
Furthermore, parents can enhance the relationship with their children through joint activities such as teaching them simple household chores like washing dishes, sweeping, mopping, and washing clothes. Parents can demonstrate the steps while inviting children to try and guiding them from the side, thereby fostering self-care skills and creating cherished memories.
Additionally, parents can organise "dates" with their children on weekends or holidays to plan and participate in parent-child activities like picnics, outings, camping, or cycling to appreciate nature's beauty together. You can also organise family activities on special holidays or important days, such as birthday parties, Christmas parties, and family dinners. These activities strengthen emotional connections between family members and enhance their overall happiness.
Finally, some service centres in the district (e.g. Integrated Family Service Centres, Youth Centres, etc.) also organise a variety of family activities at different times to accommodate the needs of different families, so you and your family may consider to join their programmes. It not only can improve family relationships, but also allow you to take a break from your busy work schedules.
Sources: Ms. Law, Social Worker (Family Service), Hong Kong Family Welfare Society