There’s an old saying that goes: families that play together, stay together. We all know that quality time with our family is paramount in building stronger relationships. Building forts, sharing stories, and just being together makes a difference in all of your lives. Family time builds confidence, teaches children about interacting with others, and create wonderful memories that last a lifetime. The following are the top ten benefits of family time.
First and foremost is the bonding itself. Spending time together helps to form lasting connections between family members. If you can’t be with them for hours upon hours, attempt to make the most of your time when you are together. This includes putting down your phone and stepping away from the computer.
Secondarily, studies show that when families spend quality time together, the chance of children getting involved in dangerous activities drop dramatically. Kids who play with their families usually get better grades. Step that up a few notches by incorporating educational games into fort building with lessons such as architecture, math, and art. Simply spending time as a family can help them experience better emotional well-being and even reach for higher levels of education.
Third, when families take the time to participate in meaningful activities together, behavioral problems decrease. Children are less likely to act out, particularly in a violent manner. For example, when you all build a fort together, you are working toward a common goal. Everyone has a plan and teamwork brings it to life. Kids learn the benefits of being part of a team and making a dream happen!
The fourth benefit of family time is helping children to learn and to grow in a non-judgmental setting. As they learn in a safe and supportive environment, they will begin to gain self-confidence at a tender developmental stage in their lives. Let them make mistakes when they build a fort. Instead of being critical or micro-managing, let them find solutions on their own. Only offer help when they ask for it. As they develop problem-solving skills, you are sure to see the biggest smiles of their lives!
A fifth, easy, benefit is simply catching up with your child and getting to know him or her better. Ask your child about his or her day (or week)! One easy way to do this is over dinner. It’s not always possible to have dinner together every single night. However, making an effort to be together at least one night a week, can go a long way in helping to strengthen familial ties. Make family dinner more fun by eating in the fort you build together. The kids can create their own dining room and even help cook and serve the meal!
A sixth benefit would be to simply help your child be a better person. In fact, research has shown that having an involved sibling is linked with more inclination to do good deeds, according to a Journal of Family Psychology study. Of course, this same benefit could be extended to having caring parents, not just supportive siblings. Encourage good deeds by having your kids build a fort to sell lemonade and cookies for charity. They can donate the proceeds to their favorite cause and feel proud of their good deeds!
The seventh benefit of family time is tried and true. Many studies over the years have shown that spending just a little bit of time talking with mom helps to lower stress hormones. In addition to lowering those stress hormones, feel-good chemical levels in the brain rose.
Eighth on our list is that quality family time can help lead to positive, healthy choices and decrease the risk of obesity in children and teens. A family unit, arguably the foundation of society, can have a strong impact on a child’s simple, everyday choices. As you spend time together and your bond deepens, so too will your influence. Use this good influence to help your child make healthy choices regarding food and exercise. Build a fort together to keep moving then reward everyone with healthy snacks.
A ninth benefit of family time is a notable increase in academic performance. The children whose parents spent time with them did far better in school than those whose parents spent their off-work hours pursuing their own hobbies. Plus, parents may discover it’s really fun and relaxing to play games, read books, and build forts with the kids!
The tenth benefit on the list is an invaluable one. Spending time with your children can help them develop parenting skills. Those parenting skills, of course, will be useful when they someday become parents, or in the meantime as they begin to grow up and encounter situations requiring leadership abilities. Put the idea into action by building a daycare or preschool fort for their dolls. Let the kids pretend to be parents and teachers to get practice right away
Above all, remember that “love” is really spelled T-I-M-E.