Dr Jozelle Miller
July 17, 2018
The Psychological Benefits of Family Time

We love our families and spend so much effort trying to make money to provide them with a comfortable lifestyle — but sometimes we forget that giving our kids our time is more important than providing them with cool clothes or the latest technology trends. Even for older children — who we would be very hard-pressed to get to admit that they want more attention from their parents and siblings — a good solid family relationship has serious benefits.

The family structure has become so disjointed. Persons are now super caught up in their lives, that the intricacies of daily living can be easily missed. No longer are persons under the same roof even concerned about how each person is doing on a daily basis, whether or not they are coping with life or being overwhelmed by it. No one takes the time to visit with each other and spend quality time just speaking face to face; looking each other in the eyes, being able to touch each other and just show compassion and care in the intimate setting of the home.

I will like to express the importance of such quality time. I posit that parents spending time with their children can alleviate some of the challenges of suicide, substance abuse, lawless and immoral behaviors among our youths. Spouses spending time with each other can also reduce the likelihood of divorce and irreconcilable differences.

Here now are a few benefits of good family time:

1. It builds 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, play football or play scrabble. The important part is just being together and enjoying each other’s company.

2. It strengthens family bonds

Families who share everyday activities together as well as share vacations or daily excursions as a group form strong, emotional ties. Studies have 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.

3. It develops positive behaviors

Children and adolescents who spend more time with their parents are less likely to experiment with substances like cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana. Children who frequently eat with their families also usually have improved dietary intake compared to those who don’t eat as often with family members.

4. It creates 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.

5. It helps 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.

Make it your business to spend time with your loved ones today…a life may be dependent on it.