Every family works differently, but there are always areas that we can all improve upon. Whether it’s making more of an effort to share chores or making a conscious choice to eat dinner together at the table, working on screentime or actively giving to charity, there will be something in your household that can be bettered.
What this is will vary from family to family, but here are three positive changes that will work for every family and that will have a big impact. Best of all, they are all changes that can be implemented immediately and will be beneficial for your children to learn.
1. Screen Time
In 2021, it’s inevitable that screens will play a big role in your family and your daily household running. It’s not just your children that will be using them excessively, either. Typically, entire families will rely on screens for both essential chores and entertainment, not to mention communicating with loved ones and doing their homework. Pair this with the fact that children are exposed to technology at a young age in the way of streaming, mobile phones and tablet computers, there’s a high chance that your household spends too much time looking at a little screen.
Too much screen time can have a range of negative effects, including strained eyes, difficulty sleeping and even poor academic performance. The effects are much the same for adults, with work performance suffering as a result of lack of sleep and mood swings. This is not to mention the digital barrier built between parents and their children. Real-life communication is often substituted for online communication, and when verbal communication is used, it’s often wedged in between watching TV or scrolling on a phone.
With all this in mind, one of the most positive changes your family can make is to limit screen time for everyone. For example, allow an hour or two a day instead of endless hours. This will benefit every member of the family and can be implemented immediately.
Climate change is a real threat and will affect every aspect of life if we don’t make more of an effort to curb our bad habits. Families tend to produce high levels of waste because there are more people using resources like energy and producing waste such as leftover food. This can be hugely detrimental if a conscious effort is not made to dispose of waste in a more eco-friendly way. Here are a few ways your family can be more ecological:
- Separate recycling from general waste, ensuring it is washed and clean
- Upcycle old furniture rather than buying new
- Donate old items (clothes and toys etc.) to charity shops
- Save leftover food for later or put it in compost
- Avoid single-use plastics (e.g. bottled water)
These are just a handful of the ways waste can be managed. Not only will you be doing your part for the planet, but your children will learn from a young age to be more conscious of the environment in which they live. What’s more, you don’t need to plan it, these are all changes that can be implemented now!
Whilst we enjoy many luxuries in the 21st century, not everyone has access to the same privileges and there are many people who need assistance by way of charitable donations. You’d be surprised at how many people in your local area rely on charities. One of the ways you can help is to get your family involved if they’re not already. In some cultures and/or religions, charitable giving is a necessity. For example, charity in Islam is vital, with obligatory payments such as Zakat being made by those eligible. There are rules around this, such as can a daughter give Zakat to her parents in need, or does every Muslim donate, but the general premise is that those who are in a position to give should.
If you’re not bound by religious or cultural beliefs to give, it’s worth working charitable giving into your normal activities. For example, once a month it might be good to attend a charity fundraiser or once a year to take part in a challenge to raise money. In terms of things you can do now, you can set up a direct debit payment to a charity of your choice. This will teach your children the importance of giving, but it will also give you that warm, fuzzy feeling associated with altruism.
These are just three ways your family can make positive changes. Will you be trying any of them?
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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