Children need attention and time from their parents because the impact of these interactions cannot be overlooked. Families have a significant impact on the emotional and behavioral actions of children, and when more time is spent, the emotional maturity of those children grows. Child development from infancy to adulthood, however, is often a complex topic filled with very real circumstances because there isn’t a complete step-by-step guide to raising a healthy, happy child. It’s important that the child feels loved, accepted, and respected as a person, and having family time can potentially improve their views of the world and themselves, ultimately reducing the effects of mental illness.
Well-Being, Family Relationships, and Mental Health
All aspects of the family have intricate ties to the social and mental well-being of children as they grow. Family relationships are part of a social dynamic that fuels our societies and influences the actions and choices of those individuals for years to come. Most often, we hear of poor family relations faced with an economic struggle, parental figures that are absent from the family structure, and many other interpersonal relationships that stem from influences outside of that parent’s control. For children, growing up means adapting to the various circumstances they’re in, and with a lack of guidance, they can develop poor social habits and ideologies that can cause a negative impact on themselves and their environment.
Among the many things you can do, family time can be an excellent way to help your children grow. Studies from Innovation in Aging argue that the quality of family relationships influences the well-being of those children and that family support during times of stress can improve their self-esteem, creating a more positive outlook. As a result of this support, their mental health can be better managed, even during times when marital dissolution and other stressors arise. However, even as these family relationships can be considered complex, this ever-changing landscape still needs multi-layered approaches to help benefit children later on in life.
Encouraging Family Time With Activities
Many activities can help promote healthier children, and these activities don’t have to be inexpensive or difficult to attain. Children need attention that’s positive and helps them develop social and emotional skills for better relationships, so here are some suggestions to help you have quality family time:
- Eating Meals Together: Eating meals together can be a great way for you to bond with your children and allow conversations to happen to help you learn more about your child’s interests and ideas. Through these conversations, positive reinforcement and compassion should always be used to help that child feel more accepted and loved within their family.
- Hobbies: If they have passions, explore those passions with them. Take the time to learn about what they love, and even try it out yourself, because from there, you can learn more about who your child is and let them know you care.
- Chores: Just as it is important to have fun, having them do chores and helping them with chores can be a great way to teach them responsibility. Doing chores with them allows you and your children to have a greater understanding of each other in your family dynamic and encourage new ways to bond with one another.
- Outdoor Activities: Taking walks in the park, bicycling, and playing games outside can not only give them exercise but also allow active, positive involvement with the environment around them.
- School/Homework: Helping them with school and homework can be a great supporter for them as they grow because their school lives comprise a significant part of their childhood.