The idea of traditional “family time” has changed over the last few decades. “Family time” is spent in front of screens or in cars or on sports fields. Not to say that this time is not valuable but rather that it might not be enough.
Children are incredibly observant and learn through imitation and watching family and friends. In our busy modern lives, we rush from one activity to another, then collapse in front of screens to recuperate. How much time is really spent simply enjoying each others company, really engaging in conversations? Truly taking time to do something non-scheduled and engaging as a family, where each member has input in some way, feeling like they matter to the group.
What are we teaching our children about quality time with people we care about?
Do we spend time engaged and interested in what other people care about? Do we truly take time to listen and respond to each other in a meaningful way? Or has family time simply become a tick in the box, another extracurricular activity.
Research clearly indicates that children who come from actively involved families feel that they “matter” as an individual. This is very important to instill in young children as it becomes more vital as they grow into adolescents when they especially need to feel loved.
In a nutshell, quality family time is important because...
* All family members will learn to value each other. Each member will, in turn, feel more loved as an individual. They will “matter”, directly resulting in positive outcomes in all aspects of life from interpersonal, behavioural and even academic achievement.
*Improved communications will lead to "happier" individual family members as well as a more bonded family on the whole. By spending quality time time together, not only do members act more as a unit but they also have more acceptance of an individual family members needs. Imagine a house of less nagging, arguing and fighting over simple things.
* Better parent/carer and child relationships means healthier, more well-adjusted children. The parents can understand their child’s individual needs, strengths and weaknesses and even unique styles of learning more effectively, allowing for better guidance when going through the trials and adventures of life.
Our children learn how to treat each other by watching us. They form an opinion about how important they are by the quality time we give them. An hour on the weekend where it is just your family together. One on one time with each parent or child a few minutes a day makes all the difference.
We must make family time a priority.
Start making time for "family time" today, every day and as often as possible.
Read what these organisations have to say about “Family Time”: