How much time does your family spend together each day? No, watching TV together or sitting next to each other while on smartphones, laptops, or tablets doesn’t count!
Yes, we know, for most of us its go, go, go all of the time resulting in too little time together. Most families have both parents working and spending quality time, or even sharing a meal together, becomes the exception rather than the rule. If you spend at least an hour every day interacting with your family in a meaningful way, that’s great! If you’re not, make that your goal.
There are a lot of reasons why family time rocks, but did you know that spending time with your family has a wealth of health benefits, especially for kids? The goal of every parent is to raise a happy and well-adjusted child, right? Sometimes parents become so anxious to raise a “successful” child that they overlook the importance of spending time interacting personally with their child. This is so important.
Studies have shown time and again that families who spend time together, even if it’s just eating dinner together every evening, have happier, healthier kids that do better in school. Family time promotes emotional health in kids, which is linked to a greater likelihood that they will avoid risky behaviours such as drug use, or suffer from depression.
Providing a child with adult time is just as important as nutritious food and plenty of exercise. Kids that don’t get enough attention from their parents find a way to force them to pay attention – usually through negative behaviour. This could cause a vicious cycle of emotional and behavioural issues. Any activity, even a bedtime story that allows for mindful interaction, will work towards strengthening family bonds, which will positively influence your child’s life.
So, how can you make time for family in your already over extended schedule? Simple – proactively schedule family time. It’s not going to “just happen”. See whether it’s possible to eliminate some of your commitments, if not; try shuffling your schedule around, so that some extra time is available. Do your kids really need to take part in every after school activity they’re currently enrolled in?
So, if there’s just not enough hours in the day, here’s a little inspiration:
- Make the most of every opportunity. Ask your child to join you on an errand, talk in the car and maybe stop for a treat.
- Have dinner together. This is an important one. Prepare meals together. Encourage kids to discuss their highs and lows of the day. Clean up together.
- Give her a call. According to a new study, talking on the phone with mom is nearly as good as getting a hug. The study found that talking on the phone with a parent reduces a key stress hormone and also releases oxytocin; the feel good brain chemical.
- Read a bedtime story. Even ten minutes of quality time will make a difference.
- (Provided this doesn’t lead to conflict). This can be a good bonding experience where the school work is just a means to an end.
- Get tickets to a game, play catch in the garden, or go to gym together.
- Go to the movies or the theatre. By watching something your child enjoys will help you to get to know her better.
- Consider the cosmos. Visit the planetarium.
- Spend time outdoors. Go cycling, gardening or simply take a walk together.
- Play board games, relax and enjoy each other’s company.
- Get everyone excited by planning a family trip at least once a year.
For us at Fedhealth, family is everything and that is why we, together with Sanlam Reality, offer lifestyle benefits; like discounted flights, movie tickets and Computicket purchases that make it easier to spend more time with your loved ones.
Source: www.health.com, www.nourishinteractive.com, time.com, www.dailymail.co.uk, www.talentedladiesclub.com, www.everydayhealth.com, www.ymcasv.org, www.ymca.net, thefamilydinnerproject.org, childdevelopmentinfo.com, cnn.com
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.