When you think of family time what comes to mind? Do you think about vacations, holidays, weekend events? What about building forts, eating dinner, listening to your child's favorite song or band together? It is important not to let the quality of family time get lost in the shuffle of our busy lives. Family time creates an environment where self-esteem and emotional well being can flourish for children and parents alike.
Developing a strong family bond creates a childhood experience like no other with lasting memories that will follow them to their future. Children crave devoted time from their caregivers, this gives you the opportunity to make the investment in developing your children's personalities as they grow. Through arts and crafts, fort building, and cooking a meal you create a bond, through this bond you have an influence on your children. They see the choices you make and often want to follow in your footsteps. Spending time with the family making healthy choices can lead to higher grades, fewer behavior problems, and healthy eating habits.
Family time does not equal money spent. Although fun times can be had with amusement parks and vacations, a child's imagination is vast and a breeding ground for fun. Get your children included in the planning of family nights. Getting their ideas and feedback will allow them to have some control rather than family night being a requirement. Allow your child to think outside the box, rather than movie night they may want to make their own movie. Grab your phone and lights, camera, action! This will boost their self-esteem as they see you supporting their choices. This can also be a relaxing wind down for parents. You can forget about the stressful work week while you play the director for your family's upcoming feature film!
There is not a perfect formula for family time, it can be unique as each family is. The importance of family time is that it is being spent together. Whether it is an entire evening or the hour you have between work and soccer practice - quality is the key.