Quality time is time spent together outside of daily routine that is free of stress, conflict and distractions. Intentional quality time creates space for meaningful conversation, bonding and connecting. It allows us to nurture the relationships we have with our loved ones, outside the routine of everyday life. We all know how important quality time is when it comes to romantic relationships, and it is just as important in familial relationships, too.
Why it matters?
Family is the first social structure that children experience. Children learn how to communicate, how to interact with others and the world around them, and how to give and receive love, firstly through watching their caregivers. Creating a safe and nurturing environment for them to learn in fosters healthy emotional growth and social development.
Benefits of quality family time
Humans are wired to care for and connect with each other. We all share the same desire to experience a sense of security and belonging. Kids are no different. Spending quality time as a family is also a great way to show your children they are valued, loved and cared for. Your time together builds a relationship based on quality experiences, which ultimately strengthens bonds and connection.
The sense of love and safety that this provides also helps children to overcome challenges and trauma they will experience throughout life. When a child feels supported, they are more resilient and are better able to manage stress and navigate difficult situations.
In a similar way, having a loving family to celebrate successes with, provides children with and even greater sense of joy, pride and accomplishment.
Your family values are communicated to your children by how you act, what you say, and how you interact with others. Kids learn first by watching you and are likely to inherit the values and character traits that you demonstrate to them.
How to make quality family time happen
To create intentional opportunities for quality family time, you will need to choose activities, places and times for positive relationship building. In the everyday, this might look like sharing a meal together, joining in on child-centered playtime, having an hour of distraction free (no screens) conversation each evening, or watching your favourite tv show together as a family.
If daily family time is not an option, weekly or monthly family night can give you all something to look forward to. Just as date night is important for parents, family night is much the same in creating space for connection and fun. Try finding something you can all enjoy doing together, and if it works, why not make it a family tradition?
By making time for family, you communicate your values and priorities to your children, show them they are valued and cared for, and help to provide them with healthy, loving familial relationships where they can learn, grow and thrive.