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.
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.
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.
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.
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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