Family first seems to be a motto for many, but do they really mean it? What does it mean to put your family first and be family oriented? We all want more time with our families and we want to be there for the special moments as well as the family night dinners, but work and other life commitments can make that a challenge sometimes. Why is being family oriented important anyway? Here I will answer those questions and address those challenges. I will talk about the meaning of being a family oriented person, why it is important, and how to become more centered around your family.
What Is Family Oriented?
What does it mean to be family oriented? Simply put, a person who’s family oriented never loses sight of the importance of their family. Yes, other commitments may take them away at times, but they always focus on maintaining a strong presence in their family.
What is another way of saying family oriented? Synonyms are family based, family focused, and family centered. By any name, it refers to someone who has their family at the heart of all that they do and all of the decisions that they make. It is someone who considers the well being of the family as a unit and thinks about maintaining that.
Why Is Being Family Focused Important?
A family oriented man or woman goes further than just being present for special occasions and important moments, they are mentally and emotionally present as well. It is in this way that we maintain our family bonds that hold us together.
Making sure you’re home for your child’s birthday party won’t mean anything if you spend the whole party on the phone talking about work. Instead, it means putting the phone away so that you can focus on your child and their happiness during the party.
Being family centered is important because there are so many distractions in this modern world and if we don’t make a true effort to protect the thing that is most important to us, family, it can be lost. A loving family is not a given. It takes effort to maintain it. Growing anything takes work and consistency, especially children! Love is a verb. We have to make connecting to our spouse and our children a priority.
This quote illustrates the point that we must actively care for what we love.
“Love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep on watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.”
― John Lennon
5 Ways to Be A More Family Oriented Person
How do you become family oriented? Being a more family oriented person may seem like a challenge in your busy life, but it doesn’t have to be. A few simple choices can bring you and your family closer together.
1. Be There for The Important Moments
You may not make every daytime school event or every baseball game, but do your best to schedule the important moments, like the school play or the baseball playoff game. Be there for the ones that really matter. And if you promise to make it to something, keep your promise; it shows your child that you love them and you’re committed to their happiness.
2. Schedule Family Time
Plan regular family time every week. Choose a night when everyone’s home and make it game night or pizza night or movie night. Or change your family time theme every week. It doesn’t matter what you do only that you do it together. Turn off the electronic devices and connect with each other face-to-face for some quality time.
3. Show Your Love
Your family doesn’t need you to buy them a lot of gifts or clear an entire day every week for them, they just want to know that they’re loved, appreciated, and important. Leave a note of encouragement for your child on a day when they have a big test. Make hot chocolate and snuggle on the couch when your child has had a bad day. And don’t forget words and actions of love for your spouse.
4. Be an Active Listener
You know that feeling when you’re trying to tell someone something important and they’re clearly not listening? Don’t be that listener. Give your family your attention when they talk to you. Put the phone down, turn down the volume on the TV, and give them your full attention. Make eye contact, ask relevant questions, and engage them in conversation. Being a good listener for 5 minutes is more important than being a distracted listener for 30. Let your family be the center of your world for at least a few minutes each day!
5. Practice Self-Care
A little time to yourself may seem counteractive to your goal of being family oriented, but it’s not. A little time to yourself to decompress and unwind allows you to be more present for the people you love. Don’t forget to take care of your own needs so that you can take care of the people you love.
Don’t take family for granted. It is a sure fire way to create distance from those you love. Frederick Douglass once said, “It is easier to easier to build strong children than repair broken men.” I would add to that, it is easier to care for your spouse each day, than repair a broken marriage. So start today and put your family at the center of your heart. Know they are important and they happiness and well-being are tied to your own happiness and well-being.
Being family oriented doesn’t mean spending every waking moment of every day with your family. All you really need to do is regularly prioritize family time and make the time you spend together matter.