When parents look back on their lives, they almost never wish that they had spent more time at work and away from their families. The demands of today’s workplace put a lot of pressure on parents to remain connected to work even when they are at home with their spouses and children.

According to LinkedIn, almost 70% of workers check their work emails while they are on vacation. The pressures of the modern workplace make it extremely difficult to disconnect completely. Children and spouses can always sense when your attention is elsewhere, and they may feel sad and left out when you continue to choose work over spending time with them.

Alberto Marante, MD, a pediatrician in Florida, shares his top five tips on disconnecting from work and bonding with your family.

1. Set Time Limits

It may be crucial to check work emails while you are out of the office but be sure to set a time limit for yourself. Set a timer for five or ten minutes and respond to any emails that are truly important. It is also smart to set a time limit for social media to prevent the aimless scrolling which interferes with family time. 

2. Try to Set Work Policies

If your office does not have a policy that workers should not be expected to respond to emails and texts while they are out of the office, it is smart to try to start one in your office. First, ask your direct supervisor whether the emails they send after work are truly emergencies or whether they can wait until the next day. You can also try going through your office human resource department. You may experience some pushback against your ideas, so don’t become discouraged. 

3. Set Up an Out of Office Email

When you are on vacation, it’s important to set up a proper out of office email message. It should be simple and to the point, stating when you will be out and for how long as well as the contact information for the person who can help while you are out of the office.

4. Be More Present with Your Kids

When you are constantly distracted by a device, your children will feel unimportant. It’s crucial to make sure that you interact with your children without anything getting in the way. Put your devices away when you talk or play with your children. You could set up a central charging area and make sure that your children’s devices are put away as well. It is okay to set up a filtered text or email message alert so that you can check if anything is truly worth your time.

Get into the habit of reading a book, coloring, or playing a game with your children when you get home from work. The kids will look forward to this special time with you, and they will feel important.

5. Start a Family Hobby

One great way to build family togetherness is by starting a hobby that everyone can enjoy together. Go on bike rides, go birdwatching, learn to cook, or learn a craft. Parents and kids can each participate in the hobby on their own level. Over time, your family will learn a new skill, and everyone will have the opportunity to bond.

Alberto Marante, MD believes family comes first

Alberto Marante, MD has offered these five tips to help your family reconnect. Recognize that your family is the most important thing in your life and let work take a back seat. Spending one-on-one time with your children is a crucial part of their growth and development. Make sure that you can fulfill your work obligations without letting them take over your home life. With both home and work satisfied, you will be able to relax and enjoy your family time.