By Rita Savkina
Summer is just around the corner, bringing with it the opportunity for parents to spend more time with their children. Therefore, giving your undivided attention to your children is incredibly important. But it isn’t necessarily true that the more time you spend with your child, the better. It all depends on how wisely you use the time you have.
Anna Katzman, a clinical nurse specialist, reports on the National Kids Day Meaningful Time Survey in an article, “What is ‘Quality Time’ With Our Kids?”.
Parents apparently consider doing instructional activities with their kids to be meaningful time (62%). Kids, however, don’t agree. They find doing fun activities with parents more meaningful – and that doesn’t mean having parents watch them at sporting events or school plays. She asked, “What do you consider the best meaningful time spent with your parents?” kids chose “talking about my day” and watching TV together.
Of course, balance is needed: Too much unstructured play isn’t good, either
Quality time is incredibly important to children or, really, any of your loved ones. Therefore, try to make the time count. Strong and healthy relationships can improve all aspects of your own life as well as others’. All relationships are an investment, and while cultivating them can be difficult, the more you put in, the more you get back. Trust and love in a relationship can strengthen your mind, health, and connection with others.
One simple way to spend quality time with loved ones is sitting down together for dinner. In an article in Psychology Today, Christopher Peterson discusses families eating their meals together.
Peterson reports on a study done in 2011at the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University which released a study that found that as many as 40 to 50 percent of American families eat together no more than a few times per week. In fact, 20 percent of meals in the US are consumed in cars, 75 percent of the people surveyed have family meals that last less than 30 minutes, and many family meals are eaten in front of the television set.
What’s more, researchers found that children seemed to be happier and healthier in those families that ate together frequently. They were more motivated to improve their grades and less likely to smoke, drink or use other drugs. They also have better relationships than those who don’t eat with their parents. Finding time to sit together as a family and reconnect is essential for kids.
Studies show that spending quality time with your children is a “vital step to successful parenting” and when poor parenting is present in the family, children are more likely to develop emotional and behavioral disorders. You can do plenty of inexpensive and easy activities with your children to avoid mental and social complications. But make sure there are no distractions around.
Here are some activity suggestions:
1) Cooking, eating, and cleaning up together 2) Helping children with their homework, as well as motivating them to succeed and participate in school and extracurricular activities (sports, clubs, out of school academic courses, music or art lessons, etc.) 3) Participating in outdoor activities, such as going camping, on a picnic, for a bike ride or a hike or even taking a day trip the beach 4) Getting involved with your child’s hobbies (drawing, crafts, playing ball, etc.) to show that you have common interests 5) Relaxing and unwinding with a game night at least once a week (board games or cards)