It seems like the middle of summer but the next school year is right around the corner. As you stock up on pencils, paper and other supplies, it is a good time to set family goals and have important conversations about finding balance this year.
School often brings with it extracurricular activities, homework, endless laundry, and large to do lists. It is easy for family time to be replaced with children playing sports, studying, and attending birthday parties and other social events while parents hustle to run errands, keep up with housework and their career, and shuttle their kids from place to place.
Because there are only so many hours in a day, something has to give. And all too often, it is family time together. Uninterrupted, device-less, quality time is a precious commodity these days. But maybe this year, you and your family can be intentional about making it a necessity.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider it:
- Children whose parents are involved are less likely to engage in risky behaviors and are more likely to do better in school.
- Families are better able to adapt to challenging situations if they are emotionally close.
- Children whose mother communicates frequently with them (listening, answering questions, and talking) are more likely to perform well academically.
- Children whose father spends time with them doing activities tend to have better academic success, as well.
- Adolescents whose parents are involved in their lives tend to exhibit fewer behavioral problems.
- Youth who participate in activities with their parents and have close relationships with them are less likely to engage in violence.
- Eating dinner together frequenting reduces the risk of substance abuse for teens.
- Adolescents whose parents are home with them after school and during the evening hours are less likely to experience emotional distress.
Spending time together doesn’t have to be costly or elaborate. Often, it is more about the frequency of checking in, talking with one another, eating meals together, playing games or playing outside with one another, and other low-stress activities that help family members bond the most. Now is a good time, before it all begins again, to sit down and talk about setting up regular rituals and routines for connecting with one another and committing to make family time a priority this year.