Surrounding yourself with people that provide a strong, nurturing support system is vital for health and happiness in your daily life. Most of the time, family comes to mind when you think of your “people” or your “tribe”. Spending time with family is so important to provide a connection and feeling of acceptance. We strongly encourage spending time with family because there are so many positive benefits of family time for the parents and the children when it is prioritized. Playing barbies, building Legos, camping together, traveling and road trips or even staycations are memories that will be etched in you and your child’s memory for a lifetime.
So what are the benefits of family time in a connected culture?
1. Happy time and memories as a family.
Recently in one of my conversations with my 18 year old son, I asked him to to share his best childhood memories . His response was taking family vacations! The family memories, time spent on road trips together, and memories shared at the beach and Disney are what he will always think of as part of his happy childhood. But his memories don’t reflect where we went or how much money was spent on that vacation, the time that we spent together is what comes to his mind.
2. Kids learn from the example modeled for them and parents can improve their parenting skills.
Parents are the heroes to their kids! They want to be like you, they are watching you make good (or bad) choices and they look up to you as they model your behavior. You are the biggest influencer in your child’s life. No pressure, right? But I am here to tell you that you can do this! Raising tenderhearted, giving, loving, and affectionate children is within your reach. You CAN do this! Be present, provide a safe and happy environment for them, and let them know you are there for them. “Your children will become what you are; so be what you want them to be.” – David Bly
3. Quality time with your kids fills their need for attention.
Some kids act up for attention. They probably won’t ask for attention verbally, but they will make bids for your attention in ways that may seem like they are acting out. Time with your kids individually may be an answer!
Giving your undivided attention to your kids sends a strong message that “You are very important to me”, “I enjoy spending my time with you”, and “I’m interested in knowing what is going on in your life”.
4. Fun Family time can limit the time your kids use technology.
The influence from social media has a strong control over actions and behaviors of our kids. While some of that influence can be positive, it is highly recommended to limit the amount of time they interact with peers. Bring the focus to family bonding, activities, and outdoor play.
And according to https://childmind.org, social media is causing depression and giving them a feeling of loneliness and isolation. Family time would ground them with love and also help you unplug and give them the attention they need.
5. Talking with their parents can build a child’s self-esteem and makes them feel valued
When someone takes an interest in what you say, it makes you feel valued. It is also a wonderful feeling when you feel understood by the person that you are with. I know that when I spend time with family and friends, I am able to talk to them about events in life and they offer wisdom and guidance to me. Kids are the same way. So one benefit of family time is to provide a sounding board for what happened to them either at church or school and this is the perfect time to offer your life wisdom and guidance.
6. Time together provides a framework of values and manners.
Christian parents have a desire to teach biblical values to their kids and quality time with them provides the perfect opportunity. Teach them all day about the character qualities you want the to have, how to handle friendships and situations that arise from their peers, and how to treat teachers and other authorities with respect.
7. Family time give parents time to teach healthy habits that will be beneficial for their lifetime.
Exercise and physical activities as a family establishes a life long pattern of healthy habits and living. And getting outside for activities such as hiking or canoeing is so much fun for kids and parents.
8. Family time can give you an opportunity to play games as a family, build thinking skills, and encourage learning.
Make the most of a few hours of a weekend night and have a family game night with the kids. There are so many age appropriate games for kids and teens and all kids love popcorn!
9. Quality family time can be service to others.
There are many creative ways to serve others as a family. You can make a meal for a sick family member or friend, visit a nursing home and take birthday cards to them, or help an elderly neighbor by picking up groceries for them or doing their yard work. This example of service as a family will leave a life time impression on your child and is one of the most positive benefits of family time
10. Family time gives your kids an ability to relate to adults and not just to peers.
Kids learn from multigenerational history when they are around their parents and other elders. They may be fascinated as you tell them stories from your childhood and memories that you have from the past. They in turn can pass these stories on to future generations.
11. Encourages Creativity
Building legos, painting art together, or just completing a puzzle together will encourage your child to think creatively and provide family time. Creativity is also a wonderful way to relieve stress, so it may help the parents too!
12. Family academic adventures such as field trips and museum visits encourage learning.
Several fun family trips that we have taken include trips to the zoo, hands-on science centers, and musicals or plays are enrichment activities and are very educational. It’s also fun to tag along on school field trips with your child. The teachers are so appreciative and I also enjoy observing my child interacting in their peer group.
The benefits of family time are enormous and are a vital part of family life. They are also a structural component to a child’s healthy development. I hope we can encourage you to enjoy the family time you have! What are some ideas you have for quality family time?