Studies are now showing what kids always knew: There is nothing more special to children than time spent with their parents.
A family that dines together stays together.
Spending quality family time together is very important
A strong family finds that opportunities for quality time emerge from quantity time: The more time you spend together, the better chance you have of sharing quality experiences. Eating a meal together is a great way to spend quality time with your family.
A strong family finds that opportunities for quality time emerge from quantity time: The more time you spend together, the better chance you have of sharing quality experiences. Eating meals together, talking about the events of the day, sharing joys and defeats, doing household chores together and spending some evenings popping corn and watching movies are examples of shared activities. Some families even schedule one evening every week for special family activities.
Doing things a child or spouse wants to do also sends a strong message of love. It’s a good idea to identify the things family members want to do together. In my family, we spend our summers showing goats together. Every weekend we pack up the coolers, show equipment, children and goats, and we head to the next show.
Children will not forget meaningful one-on-one time
How much time should families spend together? That varies from family to family. Families with young children usually spend the most time together because young children need a great deal of physical care and guidance. Families with teenagers may spend less time together because teens naturally want to spend more time with their friends. Single parents need a break from their children and may need more opportunity to enjoy the company of other adults.
Healthy families keep a good balance between “too much” and “not enough” time together. They spend enough time to satisfy all family members. Children learn to bring balance to their lives when they see their parents setting aside time for what they value.
Where should you start if you’re not spending enough time with your children?
Start with the family meal. “A family that dines together stays together” is a phrase that I have heard for years. Having a meal with your children away from distractions such as the TV, video games and cell phones can help start those conversations that you would like to, or need to have with your children. For more information about family meal ideas go to Family Meals are Important.
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Posted on June 15, 2013 by Suzanne Pish, Michigan State University Extension