Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s piece.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been spending almost 12 hours at the office trying to finalize our next big project. I’m expecting it to be this way for about two more months, but I really hope we get everything ready in a few weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but I haven’t had the chance to hang out with my family at all! Steve texted me yesterday to tell me that our son, Robbie, was stellar in his soccer game while I stayed in the office. This hurt to hear since I wanted to be there. I really need to set aside some time with them, and soon.
Throughout the years, new technologies have allowed us to find and retain close connections to those we care about, despite being nowhere near them. While the concept of “family time” differs from person to person, there are several reasons why you and those you love should make it a priority in your household. Don’t know where to begin? Rice Psychology Group can provide the information you need!
An Educated Guess
Get ready for this first piece of new information – it’s a shocker! According to a study by the Journal of Marriage and Family, the time that kids between ages three and 11 spend with their parents has no direct link to how they turn out later in life. WHAT???
This is in terms of academic achievements, behavior and overall emotional health. In fact, time spent as a family unit can potentially be detrimental if one or both parents are stressed, tired, angry or worried. Well, now that makes a little bit of sense!
This 2015 study may have painted family time in a new light, but it’s important to understand that a massive amount of past studies have shown that the real benefits of family time come when quality is prioritized over quantity. That is to say, if you and your kids spend time reading together, preparing meals or simply talking, you may see more positives compared to just sitting together in front of a TV and not conversing.
In fact, according to Amy Hsin, sociologist at Queens College, unfavorable effects can be found in children under six who spend their family time sitting in front of a TV. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics insists that children need time for themselves in the same manner that adults need “me time.” The key is to ensure that even the smallest amount of time you spend with your kids is spent doing wholesome and engaging activities.
The Advantages and Finding Time
Some of the most important and impactful benefits of spending time with your kids include:There’s nothing quite like strengthening ties with your kids than by spending time together. Click To Tweet
- Creating Bonds – There’s nothing quite like strengthening ties with your kids than by spending time together.
- Self-Esteem Improvement – If you spend time with your kids, they will feel valued, which will then strengthen their opinion of themselves.
- Behavioral Well-Being – If your influence on your kids is positive, chances are that you’ll help create and nurture positive behavior.
- Stress Relief – With just a few minutes of family time, your kids can have the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings.
Family life these days seems to be busier than ever. Kids have practice after school and parents try to fit in gym time after work. It can be hard to just sit down and catch your breath sometimes. This can be frustrating for many families, but a simple set of ground rules can greatly improve your situation.
Perhaps you can reserve mandatory dinner times for your family to spend together. Or maybe you can designate certain times in the evening as “no electronic periods”, which will help improve the chances of interaction. Whatever you decide, keep in mind the concept of quality over quantity.
Some of our therapy sessions involve a child and his or her parents playing a board game together, a rarity for so many families in 2018. The laughter, learning about each other and shared experiences are a privilege to witness.
With You When You Need Us
Our families are made up of some of the most important people in our lives, and spending quality time with them can be tough when life gets in the way. If this is the case for you and your loved ones, then know that Rice Psychology Group is here to help. Your well-being is our priority, so give us a call in Tampa if you need more information about what we can do for you.