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Benefits of Family Time for Kids

  • Dr. Allie and Miss Barbara
  • Parenting
  • No Comments

For many children, this past year has brought extra time spent with family. As a parent, I have found myself worrying that my child is missing out on socialization time with peers and critical opportunities for learning how to function in the community around him. It doesn’t matter if you are sending your children to school or not, there are restrictions at school, limitations in extra-curricular activities, and fewer playdates, leaving parents to wonder the impact of modified or limited social interactions on their child’s development and well-being.

The good news is, this is one thing we can check off our worry list as parents, because family time is great for kids. What’s more…our kids are resilient and, with our guidance, can come out the other side of this more adaptable than before!

First let’s talk about the benefits of family time for little ones.

Increased Confidence

Spending quality time with family helps your child develop a sense of identity and a sense of belonging. Family provides a home base for kiddos, a safe place they can count on as they venture out into the world. Knowing that they belong to a group that shows them unconditional love allows your child to feel confident in themselves as they grow and develop.

 Fewer Behavior Problems

Children who spend more quality time with their families are less likely to engage in risky behaviors as they enter adolescence such as substance use. These children are also less likely to display aggressive or violent behaviors. Creating a space with open lines of communication with your child not only helps you monitor your child’s participation in risky behavior but allows you to understand and help them cope with any stressors, anxiety, depression, anger, etc.

Improved Mental Health

Spending quality time with your child shows them they are important, loved unconditionally, and instills in them a sense of belonging. It also provides you as a parent with the opportunity to listen and observe your child to help understand their emotional well-being. More time spent with your child offers you the chance to model positive coping strategies and help your little ones to learn how to manage daily stressors.

Sense of Belonging

Children who feel a sense of belonging to their family are happier, have less anxiety, and fewer behavior problems. They also feel more confident to explore, discover, learn, and best of all…be themselves across situations!

Stronger parent/child Bond

More quality time leads to more opportunities to bond with your child. More opportunities to connect leads to a stronger bond. These strong connections lead to happier, healthier little ones, and happier, healthier parents!

Here are two quick and easy ways to spend quality family time:

Share Dinner as a Family

Even if your child is tiny, you can start a family dinner routine. It might seem simple to sit down with your children for dinner, but studies show that children from families who frequently share meals together have better academic functioning, stronger language, eat healthier, and demonstrate fewer behavior problems. Aim for most nights of the week to sit down together and share a meal (even if it is takeout!)

Start Family Traditions

Family traditions increase the sense of community and belonging a child feels. Traditions do not have to be elaborate. In our family we sing a special birthday song. Have cake for breakfast on your child’s birthday, start a pajama and movie night, initiate a dance party after dinner, or volunteer together…the options are endless and you can keep it simple!

So, with all of this in mind, a few affirmations for you to repeat to yourself today:

Our family creates a safe place for our children.

Our family gives my child what they need.

My child is resilient and will continue to develop the skills he/she needs to thrive.


Share with us! What are you doing to spend quality family time with your little ones?

Author: Dr. Allie and Miss Barbara

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