Family Time: 5 Activities for Spending Time Together
With the many demands of daily life, it can be challenging to spend dedicated time with family. Careers, housework, school, friends, and other activities are paramount in many lives. Regardless of other responsibilities, spending time with family should be a priority for everyone.
Studies show that increasing time spent with family does the following:
- Limits the frequency and intensity of anxiety and stress
- Provides happiness and love
- Increases chances of academic success among children in school
- Boosts Self-esteem
- Decreases risk of drug and alcohol abuse among parents and children
After considering these benefits, and more, you might be now feeling more inclined to increase the time (and the quality of time) you spend with your family. But don’t feel pressured to plan a big family vacation. You don’t need to do something huge or intense! To help you get started, here are a few simple suggestions for activities that can help you and your family connect better. Strengthening these relationships will bring added joy and love into your life!
1. Family Walks
Daily exercise has been proven to improve both physical and mental health. Why not add to this and have it add to family relationship health, too? Make breaks in your schedule productive by taking care of yourself and growing the most important relationships with your family members in your life!
2. Family Book Club
If your family is into efficiency, this might be your activity! Kill two birds with one stone and grow intellectually and as a family! Every month, one family member can choose a book for the entire family to read. Plan a time that works for everyone once a week, and discuss your thoughts! A family book club can help all family members feel like they have an equal voice and be heard. It can also encourage members to value individuality and consider the interests of one another.
3. Family Dinner
Sometimes family dinner might feel like a battleground. It can take a lot of time and effort to prepare the meal and then get children to eat what you’ve made. Getting the whole family to sit down together for a meal can be difficult for many families with after-school activities and late nights at work. A recent study shows that “children who eat dinner with their families are less likely to drink, smoke, do drugs, get pregnant, commit suicide, and develop eating disorders. Additional research found that children who enjoy family meals have larger vocabularies, better manners, healthier diets, and higher self-esteem”. Seek to plan meal times so that it is most convenient for everyone in the family and encourage all to participate in the conversation. Parents prioritizing family mealtime can help show their children that they want to make time for each other.
4. At-Home Movie Night
Microwave popcorn? Check! Red vines? Check! Favorite movie? Check! Are you cuddling up with your loved ones on the couch? Check! A movie night can be a great, inexpensive way to relax together.
Eating out can be expensive. But, what about eating outside? Pick out your favorite foods from the grocery store and pack a picnic to eat at a park or in a backyard. You can even bring board games or outdoor games to play or a bathing suit to run around in the sprinklers!
Choose an idea from the list above that works best for your family to try. You can also come up with your own idea! Your efforts to strengthen your relationship with your family will undoubtedly improve your life.
Get more ideas on activities to participate in as a family.
Authored by Lauren Woodbury