It’s no secret that finding extra time to spend with your family is usually harder than it sounds. Working parents combined with kids involved in extracurricular activities can make for busy schedules without a ton of extra room for family activities. However, creating regular family leisure activities – the typical every day, home-based activities such as playing board games, playing sports in the backyard and watching movies together – can have a lasting positive impact on the health of your children and your family unit as a whole.
Benefits of Family Activities
A recent post from FamilyFacts.org says that there are countless benefits of doing family activities together, including:
- Creating a stronger emotional bond between parents and children.
- Allowing for better communication between family members.
- Superior performances in school, as children who spend time communicating with their parents tend to get better grades.
- Less likely to exhibit behavioral problems, since kids with parents who spend quality family time together typically have fewer problem behaviors.
Parents and children both benefit from spending quality family time together. Children feel special when their parents take the time to do fun activities with them, and even simple everyday games can make for a great bonding experience.
So what if your children are really into sports but you don’t share the same enthusiasm? Balance is key. Healthy families keep a good balance between “too much” and “not enough” time together. They spend enough time to satisfy all family members and enjoy a wide range of activities that placate each family member’s interests. In addition, children learn to bring balance to their lives when they see their parents setting aside time for what they value.
Choose a range of activities that suit the needs and abilities of each family member – as these can change as children grow and develop. Be sure to expose your children to a variety of different sports and experiences and get a feel for their likes and dislikes. Each child is different and should be encouraged to find what interests them through experimentation and practice. Above all else – be patient. It may take some time for your child to find their groove – if they ever do at all. Consider the time spent playing sports as an investment in your family that will pay off in dividends.
Being involved in regular physical activity does more than just provide physical benefits for you and your family. (We’ve previously detailed the benefits of regular physical activity and how early athleticism affects childhood development.) From emotional bonding to better communication and higher performance in school, children whose parents participate in everyday activities experience diverse benefits that can last a lifetime. And, it doesn’t matter if your child is the next Steph Curry or doesn’t seem to excel in the sport at all – the benefits are the same!
Want more tips on this topic?
Check out How to Cultivate Bonding Through a Family Sports Night and 5 Fun Basketball Games for Families!