By: Eliza Najar
Deciphering Family Time - Why Do You Need To Spend Time With Family?
You love your family and spend so much time trying to put efforts to give them the best of every material thing that you can. You count every minute as precious and make investments to secure the financial future of your family. But you still find them unhappy, depressed, sick or in a state that often makes you think - What is it that I have missed? Perhaps, you missed the most important thing that your family needs - your time. Spending time with your loved ones is the best investment you can ever make. Let’s make an investment in the happiness which money cannot buy. Read on why spending time with your family is important? How dearly do you remember the first bicycle that your father bought for you? And how lovingly he would take out time every evening to teach you how to ride it. Be it the memories of helping your mother bake goodies for Christmas or your nanna telling you bedtime stories, every memory of the time you spent with your loved ones is something you cherish forever. Spending time with family creates memories for both parents as well as children. For your child's brain development As parents, we ought to acknowledge that our kids are born in a highly competitive world. Hence, sometimes we get so anxious in raising successful children that we often forget the real meaning of spending quality time with them. Spending time with children doesn’t include rushing them to school, followed by coaching classes, extracurricular activities and homework supervision. It means being fully engaged with your child in any activity that makes him feel loved and wanted. When children feel loved and valued by parents, they feel positive about themselves and grow up to be confident individuals. Research indicates that early parent-child interactions contribute positively to the brain development of the child. Ninety percent development of a child’s brain takes place during the first three years. Hence, when parents engage in small activities with their toddlers like peek-a-boo, playing with a ball, joining small puzzles and filling a bucket with toys, they are helping their child to learn and develop. To inculcate a sense of security What a child at any age seeks the most is a sense of security. Family time assures your child that security. You don’t need to wait to find time for luxurious activities to make it meaningful for your children. Take a small walk along the lane, help your child build a lego, or give tips to your son while playing a small basketball match with him. Children tend to share more about their daily activities while they are enjoying an activity with parents, rather than asking them about it after you are back from work. To connect with your children A natural way of spending time with your family is to have dinner together. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) conducted a study and found out that teenagers who do not have frequent family dinners are “twice as likely to use tobacco, nearly twice as likely to use alcohol, and one and a half times more likely to use marijuana.” Teenagers usually like to spend more time with their friends. So, family mealtime can be a natural way to connect with them without making them feel interrogated. You can use this time to talk, share your childhood experiences, connect with them, observe any changes in their behaviour and spot the cause before it goes out of hand. Do not worry if you have a busy schedule and cannot be present regularly for family dinners. Aim at a count of 2-3 family dinners in a week. Also, try to engage the entire family from adults to children in menu preparation, grocery shopping and cooking on a weekend. To build a strong bond with your family If you are an adventurous parent, then taking your family on excursions or short vacations is not only a good way to refresh yourself but also a good time to strengthen your family bond. Studies reveal that families that enjoy activities together have strong emotional ties and greater ability to overcome adverse situations as a family. Spending time with the family and understanding each other also helps in the development of child’s emotional intelligence. Your child is likely to develop a positive behaviour and learn social skills by regularly interacting with parents and siblings. To have a healthy family Not only your children but even your parents and spouse need your time. If your parents stay with you, having meals together can be a fun time for sharing family anecdotes and other valuable lessons that inculcate a sense of belongingness in the family. Family members of all age tend to eat better if they have meals together. It is also a good time to familiarise your children with the food they have never tried in the past. Children are more likely to enjoy the food that parents like to eat. For their emotional and mental well-being If your parents stay away, invite them home on weekends or visit them frequently. Loneliness is also a reason for their ill health or sickness. Spending quality time with parents is very important for their mental and emotional well being as well. Make sure you take your children to visit your parents. Grandparents love to share stories and play with their grandchildren. The lessons passed on by grandparents are the ones children remember forever. They also learn to live a balanced life and value their parents when they see you doing the same to your parents. Last but not the least, make sure you take out time for your spouse and keep your love intact. Appreciate each other and take out time to discuss your everyday life and activities. The good understanding between a husband and wife is the foundation of a strong family. Always remember, happy parents raise children who grow up to be happy adults.