Want your kids to behave and exhibit better social skills? Want your wife not to yack your head off or your husband to be more verbally affectionate?
Try Family Bonding Time.
What is Family Bonding Time?
Family bonding time is time the family spends together meaningfully. This is a designated time your family plans to interact with each other over a group of activities or a major fun project.
Beneficial Effects of Spending Time Together:
Family members learn how to listen and work together. Children learn how to behave in society by watching their parents interact with each other and with the world. Family bonding times are a great way to model expected behaviors inside the family circle and with others in the community. Modeling expected behaviors is also a great way for the parents in the family to learn how to communicate to each other as well.
Promising your personal time at least one day out of the week will help members in your family gain a sense of self worth. Children that have guardians that take the time with them, begin to assign value to their family time. Children that do not have a sense of family values are more likely to be influenced by friends that do not necessarily have their best interests at heart.
Communications between family members improve. Parents often admit frustration when it comes to communication. Their children are not open, untrustworthy, do not listen or lack understanding between talker and listener. Bonding time can help eliminate some of the frustration. Parents can use this time to relate their childhood to an adolescent just beginning his childhood interactions. Parents know the same trials have weathered us all. The amount of temptation and the sources of these hindrances are the only things that really change.
As important as it is to impart wisdom, it is just as important to be an active listener as well. While everyone is together, sometimes it’s just as important to redirect attention towards your family and ask “What’s going on with you?”
Children improve relationships and bond to their family members. Making a habit of displaying interest in the well being of your spouse and children will make them more likely to consult family members when there are personal problems occurring.
Actively strengthening family bonds reinforces mutual respect. Children will find you can get more done with good behavior and not by acting out. Adults will find authority is followed more willingly when a child wants to do their best for them. Children will use less talking back as their view of their family unit improves.
There are some partners that don’t understand why their spouses have so much to say to them. Women are verbal and if their husbands often skip opportunities for their wives to vent, it builds up. Too much nervous or aggressive tension can lead to verbal overload in any gender.
Men have the same problem and often take out their need to vent through physical tasks. Men tend to be more aggressive verbally and more avoidant until they believe they have resolved the matter bothering them.
Dominating a conversation or behaving aggressive is disrespectful in a familial relationship. Designating time together will help eliminate these very bad ways of dealing with stress. This does not mean your spouse can only talk during family time. The opportunity to discuss matters by both spouses will help release any emotional tensions that lead to bad behavior.
Doing a creative project and discussing what is going on in each member’s life is a good way to encourage release.
Many couples have problems diffusing the stress that arises while on their jobs. Talking about how to diffuse those problems can help partners come home happier and have healthier emotional statuses.
Members learn to value one another and are less likely to hurt each other. Families that encourage bonding time, multiple times a week, often say their children have an easier time away from home. Children that do not have to compete with a computer, television, phone or activity for parental attention have an easier time conducting themselves when their parents are not around. Children that know they have a reasonable amount of their parents’ attention do not try to gain it in disruptive dangerous ways.
Ways to Share Family time Together:
Plan an outing to the park together and play games, go on a nature hike and make a picnic together.
Go to the museum and have everyone pick out a list of things they wish to see.
Plan a meal made from new recipes or another culture. Set the table according to the cultural traditions and share a discussion about similarities and differences.
Build a model plane or make a soapbox racer together. Work on a project together that is easy for everyone to contribute. Motivate your children to discuss how their subjects in school make contributing to the project easier. Encourage children to use their talents or their abilities to making the project special.
(credit: Joyce Naltchayana/AFP/Getty Images)Family time can include doing some good in your community. These families planted trees for a veteran memorial.
Ways to Incorporate Family Bonding Time Everyday:
- At meal times encourage spouse and children to discuss what they plan to do, what problems they may be having or whatever is on their minds.
- If you drive your spouse and children to most of their destinations, use those times to listen to them or play games perfect for car trips.
- At home parents can ask children to help them do the chores and make a game of it. Children can clean their rooms by playing hamper hockey. Siblings can take turns using brooms to move their dirty clothes into laundry baskets or hampers. Couples can find working together very stress relieving and have found ways to ease romance in. Some spouses reward each other with a sexy back rub, favorite food or some other highly cherished activity.
The list is only limited by your imagination. There are a million and one ways to make time with your family meaningfully. You have nothing to lose and only your family’s closeness to gain.
Spending quality family time together is very important
A strong family finds that opportunities for quality time emerge from quantity time: The more time you spend together, the better chance you have of sharing quality experiences.
Posted on June 15, 2013 by Suzanne Pish, Michigan State University Extension
Eating a meal together is a great way to spend quality time with your family.
A strong family finds that opportunities for quality time emerge from quantity time: The more time you spend together, the better chance you have of sharing quality experiences. Eating meals together, talking about the events of the day, sharing joys and defeats, doing household chores together and spending some evenings popping corn and watching movies are examples of shared activities. Some families even schedule one evening every week for special family activities.
Doing things a child or spouse wants to do also sends a strong message of love. It’s a good idea to identify the things family members want to do together. In my family, we spend our summers showing goats together. Every weekend we pack up the coolers, show equipment, children and goats, and we head to the next show.
Children will not forget meaningful one-on-one time
How much time should families spend together? That varies from family to family. Families with young children usually spend the most time together because young children need a great deal of physical care and guidance. Families with teenagers may spend less time together because teens naturally want to spend more time with their friends. Single parents need a break from their children and may need more opportunity to enjoy the company of other adults.
Healthy families keep a good balance between “too much” and “not enough” time together. They spend enough time to satisfy all family members. Children learn to bring balance to their lives when they see their parents setting aside time for what they value.
If you are wondering whether or not you are spending enough quality time with your child, Michigan State University Extension’sBuilding Strong Adolescent program that can help you determine if you’re spending enough time with your child/children.
Where should you start if you’re not spending enough time with your children?
Start with the family meal. “A family that dines together stays together” is a phrase that I have heard for years. Having a meal with your children away from distractions such as the TV, video games and cell phones can help start those conversations that you would like to, or need to have with your children. For more information about family meal ideas go to Family Meals are Important.
This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu/newsletters. To contact an expert in your area, visit http://expert.msue.msu.edu, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).