Family time enhances wellbeing
In today's world, most families are very busy. There are work schedules, school schedules, after-school activities and extra-curriculars, homework, house cleaning, and so many more obligations today's families have to squeeze into one week. With all these "have-to" activities. sometimes it can feel overwhelming to add in "Family Time". However, family time provides many benefits for youth and family wellbeing. And we are here to share the greatness of family time and how to fit it in to any family's schedule!
Benefits of Family Time
According to an article from National Institute of Health, children's experiences with and within their families have a critical impact on a child's overall development. The growing wealth of research lists the following personal and relational benefits when families connect:
- Strong Mental Health: Youth how spend more time with family members tend to experience fewer mental health symptoms such as depressed mood or anxiety. Additionally, family connections can also help reduce risk of challenging or high risk behaviors such as substance use. Kids who have strong relationships with supportive adults also demonstrate more resiliency, the ability to cope with life's ups and downs.
- Positive Self-Esteem: Spending time with youth and showing interest in them is a way to communicate they are special. When adults take interest in and encourage youth, they are helping the youth learn they have unique and special characteristics. This helps kids feel more confident being themselves in social situations.
- Success in School: Simply by asking about your child's day at school and what new things they are learning, you can help you child become more engaged in their own learning journey. When kids talk about the things they learn it helps reinforce the learning pathways supporting deeper understanding and integration of ideas and concepts.
- Communication & Conflict Resolution: Any time we are interacting with kids we are modeling and teaching communication skills. Likewise, when we work through conflicts calmly we are teaching our kids how to do the same. Using positive and open communication supports expression of thoughts, emotions, and overall problem solving.
Increasing "Family Time"....Every Interaction Counts!
As we mentioned earlier, it can be overwhelming to think about scheduling even more into the daily or weekly schedule. However, we want you to know when it comes to "family time" every interaction you have with your kids is an opportunity to be present and have genuine connection. In fact, when we use everyday activities as a way to connect, the pressure to do grand displays of connection decreases. You can make any time "family time" by using the following tips for quality connection!
- Be fully present-turn off or put away any screens. Pay attention to the verbal and non-verbal communication.
- Be curious-ask questions to further understand your child's experience, thoughts, or feelings. Explore their goals and dreams for the future. Seek out their ideas for new projects.
- Take time-learn more about the activities, interests, and hobbies your child has. Even when they are doing something solo, you can be present and learn why they enjoy it!
Don't worry about being perfect or planning something complicated. Believe in yourself as a parent and the importance of your relationship with your child. Start today by choosing one regular connection to be intentional about. Next, review the tips above. And at last, experience the difference!