Quality time with family is more important now than ever.
We are constantly worried about work, focussed on technology and busy with everyday life, and quality time with family can be something we overlook. It can be easy to forget the importance of spending one on one time with those closest to you.
Spending time with family has been shown to be beneficial for both children and parents, but the truth is that there is a difference between spending time with family and spending quality time with family. It is a misconception that stay-at-home parents are somehow better than those who work.
You can spend hours with your children, but the quality of that time is so much more important. According to various research, healthy families are those who take the time to talk and listen to one another, share chores and make decisions together but, above all, they make time for each other.
It can be difficult to know what quality time with family looks like, as we can’t always afford to go on days out all the time. There are ways to spend quality time together at home without extensive planning.
How to spend time with family, and why it’s important:
1. Listen and Talk
Listening and talking to one another opens communication channels, making children feel more comfortable to go to their parents with issues. If they feel they can come to you, they won’t feel they have to deal with it alone.
If your child comes to you with an issue, make sure that they know you are listening. Stop whatever else it is that you might be doing and give them your full attention. Everyone needs to feel that they are being listened to and, no matter how trivial, are respected and addressed.
The better communication you have with your child, the more likely they are to come to you when a more serious problem arises.
2. Fix and Improve Things
What may seem like a mundane task to you will be an exciting opportunity to explore and create. It also makes the task more entertaining for parents, as you get a fun perspective on the tasks you don’t really want to do.
Fixing and building things with your kids helps to develop their sense of achievement and self-worth. It also establishes a relationship of trust between child and parent. The more trusted a child feels, the less likely they are to act in ways which could lose that trust.
3. Cook Together
Cooking can be another task which can feel time-consuming, but it is a great way to spend quality time with your children. Not only will they find the fun in everything, but it will also help develop their exploration with food. Children feel pride in what they have made themselves.
Take the opportunity to try something new and see if cooking it themselves will encourage your kids to eat different foods. Cooking is a skill that will set your children up for life. Alongside this confidence, they will also be ready for the day they finally fly the nest.
All children love to play. Children make friends at school mostly from playing with them and creating imaginary games. The imagination they use to create and play these games helps them to develop their creativity and solve problems.
Although we may not always understand their rules, getting involved at their level shows that you are a friend as well as a disciplinarian. When you inevitably lose, it shows that you are human that nobody is truly perfect.
5. Plan Trips Together
Get your children to help plan days out and family trips away. Give them a few options with educational value and ask which one they would prefer to do. When planning vacations or road trips, show them the activities on offer.
That way, you’re helping them to grow their brain through cultural and educational activities, but also showing that their opinion is valuable to you and within the family. Children who feel valuable are much more likely to voice opinions and listen to the opinions of others.
The importance of spending quality time with family is huge. Not only to build confidence and knowledge but also to make memories and become closer as a family unit.
Remember that it is not about the amount of time you spend with your children, but the activities you take part in to make the most of the time that you have together. The key is to stay consistent and regularly make time for each other.
For more information on the significance of family time, check out other articles we have on why spending time with your family is so important.
By Francesca F.