Spending more time together and indulging in leisure activities strengthens the family bond. This holds true to all type of activities. They don’t always need to be such that require a bigger sum of money.
Even home-based, low-cost activities such as playing a board game, gardening, camping, arts and crafts, cozying up for a family movie or playing outdoors have a big impact on the health of a family.
They make everybody in the family feel closer emotionally to each other, which is always a good thing. These mundane everyday activities are known as a family’s ‘core’ activities, whereas those that require more time, money and planning (special events, vacations) are called ‘balance’ activities. Both of these are deeply related to a family’s ability to better adapt. The strengthening of family bonds is one of the important benefits of family time.
Importance of Family Traditions
Almost every family tradition has its roots in necessity. Over time, that necessity becomes nostalgia, and eventually, it becomes a way for families to relate and connect with one another. In fact, as families evolve and change, those traditions once again become necessities, as they assume new meaning in the context of our need to communicate and understand our loved ones.
The holidays can provide a healthy reminder to let the world go on spinning while we connect with our families and engage in our heritage together.
As such, it is important to pass the torch of family traditions; this imparts a sense of continuity, bonding and more importantly, love. It is incumbent on each generation of parents to keep the family tradition up and running. Family traditions are valuable tools for raising kids, as they help to instill social values and contribute to creating close family ties.
Sharing is a key ingredient for creating quality moments. Traditions make sharing easy by offering a common ground of knowledge and experience. A favourite holiday cookie recipe is not simply a recipe, but an opportunity for a shared experience. For example, making the cookie, discussing special techniques and ingredients, decorating them a certain way, etc. There's a shared expectation of the time and method the tradition will take place and each role that will be played. There are also the shared memories from previous occurrences of each family tradition.
In the hustle and bustle of life, have you ever wondered if it was okay to push family time aside for all of your other responsibilities? How are we to know just how important family time is to a growing child? Does it affect their emotional well-being and development?
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that family time is very important to children and to adults. As humans, we crave interaction and it’s important in our relationships with each other to spend time as a family and to nurture a safe environment to call home.
Studies have shown that children need time to feel like they are needed and wanted and the more of that time they receive, the more likely they will be able to go out and conquer the world, or at least the 1st grade!
Here are 7 ideas for spending more time together!
1. Family Night
Choose a night each week that is always family night. Everyone should know what night this is. Keep it scheduled and don’t let anything fall in its place. This is important. Go to a fun place together or go out to dinner. Stay home for a movie night or game night. Talk! Tell each other about your week and your plans.
2. Family Vacation
Have a family vacation at least once a year. The best memories I have growing up, was when we went somewhere fun all together. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate cruise, although that would be a blast and surely create fond memories! Go camping, rent a cabin in the woods, go to amusement parks, or even have a staycation. But do it, spend time together on vacation!
3. Exercise Together
Get outside with your kids! Go enjoy the great outdoors. Go hiking, fishing, boating, or participate in family runs together. Physical activity and sunshine is great for everyone but when you do it together as a family, you build those relationships at the same time. Win-win!!
4. Read together
Go to the library together. Find a list of great chapter books for whatever age your children are. Before bed, read a chapter together. Reading together makes for great conversation and bonding time. And if a movie was made after the book, go see it together!
5. Get artsy
Sign up for an art class together! There are some awesome classes and opportunities out there in the communities. Go to a museum or an art show. Or just find a simple craft to make at home together. Whatever it is, doing art together makes great memories with your family.
6. Serve Others
Find a way to help someone else as a family. Do you have an elderly neighbor that needs help pulling weeds? Do you know someone who just had a baby who would appreciate a meal? Make the meal together as a family and bring it over to them. They will learn the value of helping others and doing it together makes a huge difference!
7. Get in the kitchen
When you make dinner, ask one of your children to help you. I know this might make the dinner process a little longer, sometimes a lot longer. But if you help your kids get familiar in the kitchen when they are younger, it will be easier for them later on; they might even thank you for it someday.
There are so many options out there for family time. Make it simple. It doesn’t have to be a huge deal! Just make sure you do it! We will enjoy life better if we enjoy life with the ones we love.