Spending time with your family is important for many reasons. Here are a few of the benefits of regular family time:
Spending time together as a family can create some really fun and lasting memories for your children (and you). As your children grow, you want them to be able to look back at their childhood and have a vast library of memories that they can pull from to support the idea that you value them and that you want a relationship with them.
*This post may contain affiliate links.
Children aren’t born with social or emotional skills. These are all taught. Of course, they will learn certain skills through the regular course of their day at home, with friends, and at school. But, family time provides you with a unique opportunity to model and even teach important skills.
For example, spending time playing a game together gives you the opportunity to teach sharing, being a good loser, playing fair, and so many other important life lessons.
Teaches Good Communication
Family time can also be a great place to teach your children communication skills. This can be a simple as sitting down together for a family dinner and talking. Allowing your children to watch the way you and your spouse communicate is important. It is also important to encourage your children to communicate well with you and with their siblings.
Family Time can Lessen Behavioral Issues
Many research studies have shown that concentrated time from parents will lessen many behavioral issues. If you find that there are a lot of angry outbursts, yelling, trouble at school, etc. try ramping up the amount of time you spend together intentionally as a family. You will be surprised at how well this can work to lessen some of those common behavioral issues.
Spending time together with your children also builds their self-esteem. When they see that their family is willing to put down devices and other distractions and focus on one another, it helps to build a strong foundation of worthiness.
Builds Trust and Closeness (important for future years)
Family time is also so important for laying a groundwork for the teen years. You want to develop and build strong bonds with your children when they are young so that they continue to turn to you when they are older.
How Much Time Should a Family Spend Together
There is fairly good research that shows that families should be spending some time together most days. This doesn’t have to be a huge commitment though. Just sitting down and eating dinner together or spending 20-30 minutes playing a game together can be enough.
In addition to daily time, it is important to spend bigger chunks of time on a fairly regular basis as well. This could be in the form of a family outing on the weekend, family game night, monthly family meetings or maybe a Sunday afternoon bike ride.
What Should I do in Family Time
There is really no right or wrong answer here. However, it is important to remember a few key components to make your family time effective:
- You should put away devices and other distractions so that you are able to focus on each other.
- It should happen regularly and even better, as part of your family routine.
- There should be an element of play and fun to much of the family time that you spend together.
Here are Some Ideas for What to do in Family Time:
- Eat a meal at home together
- Play a game together (If you need a new game for game night, check out this post.)
- Ride Bikes Together
- Go for a Walk Together
- Play at the Park (Remember – you have to play too, not just sit on your phone while your kids play!)
- Have a Family Meeting (Check out my Family Meeting Kit for ideas on how to do this easily)
- Shoot Baskets or Throw a Ball (football, baseball, etc.)
- Do an art or craft project together (The Family Bonding Bundle has a couple of great family craft projects included in it!)
- Volunteer together
- Go see a favorite band, author, or performer together
- Go out for a treat (my boys love frozen yogurt or Boba tea)
- Go swimming together
- Go for a Hike
- Build a Fort Together