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The Importance of Family Time for Your Child

The Importance of Family Time for Your Child
Posted on January 3, 2017 by CHS

Why is Family Time Important?

The numerous benefits of spending family time together may surprise you. Not only does family time create bonding, it also contributes to your child’s academic success, self-esteem, and reduced likelihood of violence. It is a simple, yet profound way to help a child develop into a healthy, thriving adult. Here are just three of the ways that spending time with your children now will influence them positively in the future:

  1. Improves Their Ability to Learn
    Reading, playing, and talking with children improves their social and academic skills, encourages curiosity, and provides emotional security to explore and problem-solve. According to the Administration for Children and Families, children who have secure, attached relationships with trusted adults are more advanced in their cognitive and language development, and show greater achievement in school.
  2. Builds Bonds and Self-Esteem
    Children who spend time participating in activities with their parents build a positive sense of self-worth. Quality time with your child teaches them that they are valued, and builds a sense of security and belonging, which in turn makes them feel more positive about themselves.
  3. Social Education and Safety - During early childhood, children take social cues from their caregivers to learn right from wrong, what to pay attention to, and what is safe or dangerous. Children and adolescents who spend more time with their parents are less likely to experiment with substances like cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana.

Ways to Spend Quality Time Together

  1. Working Together:  Spend time together while taking care of tasks at home
    • Prepare a meal – have your child help with simple tasks like finding vegetables for a salad or mixing ingredients.
    • Put groceries away – this also helps children develop reading and math skills, as she can count the items as she puts them away, or learns to read the labels.
    • Set up a work area – take care of bills or paperwork while he colors or does his homework; this way you can also help them with their projects.
  2. Activities:  Schedule consistent times to spend family time together
    • Have a picnic at the park, beach, or backyard and let your children help plan the menu
    • Visit a local tourist attraction such as the zoo, aquarium, museum or garden
    • Take a walk or go on a bike ride together
    • Work on a project such as a puzzle, making a family photo album, or making gifts for relatives
  3. Family Meetings: Regular gatherings help strengthen the family and keep communication open. Some good topics for discussion include:
    • Celebrating good news regarding a child’s school performance, athletic event, or artistic achievement
    • News that affects the whole family, such as job changes, a new baby, or the start of a school year
    • Concerns about a child’s struggle at school, with friends, or chores not getting done
    • Discussing plans for the next day

 

To find more ideas for spending time with your children, download our Family Time – Keeping Family a Priority brochure or listen to our podcast on Family Time here.

Sources:

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ecd

http://families.naeyc.org/learning-and-development/child-development/how-support-children%E2%80%99s-approaches-learning-play-them

http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/831061/5-reasons-family-time-rocks

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/grandparents.html?WT.ac=ctg#catfamily

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/preteen.html?WT.ac=ctg#catfamily

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