More family time is something we could all use, but it often gets overlooked during our busy day-to-day schedules. Whether it’s overworking, trying to get the kids ready for school, helping elderly parents or too often turning to social media, there’s plenty that gets in the way of setting aside time to be together with family members.
Family time can be more important than you may think. It builds trust, improves our health and strengthens familial bonds. Ensuring you have this time together is vital to building a better quality of life for you and your loved ones.
What does family time do for your family?
Boosts social skills and confidence in children
Being with family can help build your children’s self-esteem. When you’re together with your loved ones, make sure it’s in a relaxed space and allow your children to talk about their days, how they feel and their thoughts on current events. Doing this in a judgement-free zone will help them feel valued and that they have something to contribute during family time. Recent studies have shown that, especially in teenage children, if parents are more actively spending time with them and listening, they will feel much more comfortable opening up and expressing themselves.
Demonstrates positive family and relationship dynamics
Getting together with the family is the perfect time to show your children positive family values and dynamics. Children, especially infants and toddlers, learn by example,1 which makes family time the best opportunity to instill a healthy way for a family to interact.
Reinforces emotional bonds and strengthens communication
Quality time with the family both at home and out during an activity goes a long way to strengthening the bonds between family members – which in turn leads to more comfortable communication. When you schedule some family time, make sure you’re having regular conversations with your children and partner. Everyday conversations during quality time with your loved ones can help establish trust and pave the way to having more open conversations about serious issues that can arise in life.
Health benefits of family time
When things get stressful in life, we often turn to our families to help us cope. Regular family time can create a safe space where we can confide in the people who are most important to us. With that safety net in place, family members are less likely to turn to unhealthy outlets to reduce stress. Quality time with loved ones is always your best option to recharge your batteries and feel reinvigorated to tackle whatever it is that’s causing you stress.
Improves physical health
When you incorporate physical activities into your family time, you and your loved ones can see positive impacts to your physical well-being. Base your quality time around going for a run or playing a favourite sport, and if done regularly, you’ll see positive changes in your health. As a bonus, if you have children, not only will you be helping them stay physically healthy, but they will experience less anxiety and be better equipped to deal with life’s challenges.2
Extends life expectancy
The physical and mental benefits of more time spent with your loved ones have also been shown to increase life expectancy. If you don’t keep up healthy relationships with family or friends, you could be putting yourself at increased risk of a shorter life.3 The health benefits we’ve mentioned above that come from regular family time have a ripple effect on your wellbeing.
Family Fun grants and International Day of Families
With the International Day of Families coming up on 15 May, there’s no better time to take advantage of a Foresters Fun Family grant. With this member benefit, we’re making it easy to organise family outings and create lasting memories with the people who matter most. You can take your family to see your favourite sports team, attend an art class or explore a museum together – there’s plenty of activities available for you to create some quality time with your family.
You can apply for the grant right now by logging into MyForesters.com!