It’s a fact, today’s families are busy. Between our devices, schedules, and obligations it’s easy to understand how families can overlook that they are not spending enough quality time together. There are many important reasons why we need to slow down, and step back from our electronics and start spending time together. Family time is essential for a happy, healthy family, with thriving parents and children.
Connecting and communicating
Spending time together talking and actively listening, engaging in eye contact instead of being distracted by our environments has a big effect on how we connect to one another. Listening to what children are saying, and being understanding can keep parents in the loop on their children’s lives outside of the home. It’s important that parents not criticize their children or try to fix anything at this time and just hear what their children are saying. This time is also a good opportunity to talk with teenagers about difficult subjects.
Showing children they matter
Family time is when parents can give their children positive encouragement. Children whose parents are involved in their education tend to do better in school and graduate at higher rates. Taking time to show your children you appreciate them and recognize their positive accomplishments can help build their confidence. It’s important not to negate the positive reinforcement by criticizing. Affection such as hugs, snuggles and hand holding is another way to show your children that you care. Showing them that they matter can help children realize their place in the world, and understand that they are a significant part of it.
Teaching children values
Children learn by observing their parents, spending time as a family can help them learn values. They will see their parents acts of kindness and the way they stray from doing things that are wrong or dangerous, and will hopefully mimic their behavior. It is also a way to teach them the importance of family and being there for one another and accepting each other and embracing differences.
There are many ways to incorporate family time, from sitting down as a family at dinner, taking walks, doing homework and playing board games together. The goal isn’t to stifle each other with too much time together, nor is it to do away screen time completely, it’s about finding a healthy balance.