Resolve to Spend Quality Time as a Family
January 5, 2017
The winter holidays provide opportunities for families to get together with extended family members, make time for special outings or engage in favorite holiday traditions. It's also a time when parents are able to spend extra time with children who are home from school on winter break. The new year often brings resolutions to continue the activities that create feelings of closeness and connection—spending more time with family, being more present, slowing down the busy pace of life. These resolutions are important for effective family functioning, but how can parents make them a reality?
Experts identify a number of benefits to spending time together as a family. When parents spend time with their children—even as little as 10 minutes—the children develop strong healthy attachments. These attachments provide them with a template for positive social relationships that they take into the world. Family interactions also help children build communication skills and learn how to work as a team. As a result, children may experience fewer behavior issues. They are better able to develop healthy relationships with peers and other adults outside of the family circle.
Family time is important for children of all ages and the impact is lasting. Children who have strong relationships with their parents tend to enjoy greater academic success. Teenagers who regularly spend time with their parents are less likely to engage in risky behaviors such as drug use and are also less likely to engage in violent behaviors. Parents will enjoy benefits as well. Spending time with family is associated with lower stress levels and healthier eating habits!
Here are some ideas for things your family can do together:
- Eat dinner as a family
- Have a family game night
- Read together
- Get moving! Go for a walk or bike ride together
- Tell stories about yourself (or other family members) when you were a child
- Cook together
- Have a family project like assembling a model or putting together a puzzle
- Create a scrapbook together
- Build a blanket fort
- Write stories about pictures your children draw
- Make a movie or put on a play
This article was written for the January 2017 edition of Parent Source.