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The Importance of Spending Time with Family

Our time is the most valuable gift we can give our children and it’s key to their development, but in the hustle and bustle of modern life, it’s easy to overlook the importance of simply spending time together as a family.

Whether it’s enjoying a meal together or going for a walk, the time children spend with their families makes them who they are and key lessons can only be taught by family members during life’s ups and downs. 


So why should we make quality family time a priority?



Builds Self-Esteem: Children who spend time with their parents doing activities together build a sense of self-worth. When they feel valued by their parents, it makes them feel more positive about themselves. These activities don’t need to be costly; you could play a game, read a book, or go for a picnic –  the important thing is being together.


Encourages Communication: When you show your child that you want to spend time with them you are helping to create an environment that encourages open communication. Having open communication in a family is extremely important for children to feel comfortable talking to you about anything. You may only get a monosyllabic answer, but simply asking how your child’s school day was can make a big difference and may prompt them to open up about things that may be bothering them. 


Helps Emotional Intelligence: Children will develop better emotional intelligence by spending time with family, especially in emotionally challenging situations. Observing and being part of family dynamics can teach them how to empathise with others, manage emotions, and enhance their communication and social skills.


Lowers Risk of Behavioural Problems: When children receive positive attention for positive behaviour they are more likely to want to continue those healthy patterns. Doing activities together as a family also provides an outlet for pent-up emotions that could otherwise lead to unhealthy decisions. 



Helps Children Academically: Spending time reading with your child or helping them with homework will create an environment that values studying and doing well at school. If your child feels comfortable coming to you for help with schoolwork, they are likely to do better academically.


Reduces Stress: Providing children with a sense of security, belonging, and unconditional love acts as a buffer against the stresses of everyday life. Whether it’s through shared laughter, comforting hugs, or words of encouragement, the bonds made during family time create a strong foundation on which children can build their self esteem and emotional resilience. 


Strengthens Family Bonds: Sharing everyday activities as a family helps to form strong emotional ties. Families who enjoy group activities together have stronger bonds and are more likely to be able to collectively navigate challenges that may come their way. 


Helps With Friendships: If you set a good example for your child by making time to spend quality time together, they are more likely to adopt those behaviours in other relationships. Simply playing a board game together will help them to learn about interacting with others and also teach them about turn-taking, sharing, etc.



Enhances Physical Health: With the right kinds of activities, spending time with family can positively impact a child’s physical wellbeing. Doing outdoor activities such as sports, gardening, and walking, or cooking nutritious meals together will help to improve fitness. 


Most importantly, family time is a great opportunity to simply have fun and enjoy each other’s company! It doesn’t have to be expensive; some of the most enjoyable things you can do as a family are free or cost very little.



Here are some ideas

Go for a walk in nature together: Time outside in nature is not only good for everyone’s mental health and well-being, it’s also an opportunity for children to open up and talk about any worries they may have. 


Have a family game night with board or card games: Playing games like this provides a fun environment for children to develop their communication, social, and teamwork skills, while having fun and strengthening family bonds. 



Cook a meal together as a family: Cooking or baking together encourages creativity, teaches life skills, and promotes healthy eating habits. The shared experience also strengthens family bonds by working together towards a common goal. And you also get to eat what you’ve made at the end!


A day of geocaching in your local town or city: Not only does this get everyone outside and away from screens, it’s also lots of fun, encourages teamwork, and will create lasting family memories. 


Start a family scrapbook: Collaborating on something like this is great for strengthening emotional connections with your child, and creating something to look back at and reminisce about in years to come is really special.


A family movie night: This is a lovely opportunity to relax and snuggle up together under blankets with popcorn and other favourite snacks.


If your child is reluctant to hang out with Mum and Dad or drag themselves away from their screen, try talking to them about how important it is to spend time together. Your child needs to know that you enjoy their company and want to do things with them. Ask if there’s anything they would particularly like to do as a family – they are more likely to buy into the idea if you involve them.


Agree on some time each week when you can all get together and put it in the diary, making sure the days and times are convenient for everyone. If it’s a group decision, everyone is more likely to stick to it.


Set some limits around screen time. Explain to your child that it’s important to be aware of how much time they are spending on screens. Make sure they understand that having a good balance with other activities in their life is good for their overall well-being. If you agree on some ground rules it will free up time for you to do things as a family without constant requests for screen time.