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5 Reasons family time rocks

Deanna Sletten has been writing for nearly 20 years for magazines and websites. She owns the blog Write Moms that shares information about freelance writing. Deanna is also the author of two fiction novels.

Family time brings families closer

Spending time together as a family is important for building strong family ties, making lifelong memories and creating an environment that builds self-esteem and character in children. When asked, children say the number one thing they want most from their parents is time. Parents don't have to spend a lot of money to spend quality time with their children; any time spent together sharing an activity is considered quality time. Here are five reasons family time rocks.

happy-family
1Builds self-esteem in children

Children who spend time with their parents participating in activities together build a positive sense of self-worth. When children feel that they are valued by their parents, they feel more positive about themselves. Family activities don't have to be expensive or luxurious to be meaningful. Take a walk together, go for a bike ride or play a game of basketball in the driveway. The important part is just being together and enjoying each other's company.

2Strengthens family bonds

Families who share everyday activities together as well as share vacations or daily excursions as a group form strong, emotional ties. A study published in the journal, "Family Relations", found that families who enjoy group activities together share a stronger emotional bond as well as an ability to adapt well to situations as a family. Share your favorite hobbies, sports, books, movies or other favorite activities and build strong family ties for life.

3Develops positive behaviors

Children and adolescents who spend more time with their parents are less likely to experiment with substances like cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana. According to a 2008 study by the University of Minnesota, adolescents who shared dinner with their family five or more times a week lowered their risk of substance abuse by 50 percent as compared to adolescents who shared family meals less than two times a week. Sharing time, whether through meals or activities, lowers the risk of unresolved family conflict which is usually a catalyst for adolescents experimenting with harmful substances.

4Creates happy memories

Family time creates warm memories for parents and children alike. Children with happy family memories are more likely to create a loving environment for their own children when they grow up. Learning to work and play as a family unit is one of the best lessons children can be taught so they can develop into competent adults and parents.

5Helps parents and children reconnect

Spending time together as a family helps busy parents reconnect with their children. Children tend to share more information about their lives while enjoying an activity with you rather than when you ask them "What did you do today?" It is also a time when life lessons, like sharing, fairness and compassion, can be reinforced without conflict. Children grow and change quickly, so family time is a wonderful time to get to know your child better.

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