“The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works, is the family.” — Lee Iacocca. What makes a family strong, and how to create family bonding? A successful family is built on the support and affection that family members provide for one another. A family knows how to embrace each member’s differences and nurture their uniqueness. However, a solid bond requires that you understand and accept each other, show up for them in need, and spend quality time together. Knowing and believing that your parents and siblings will always be there for you is what pulls you closer. However, the demands of daily life may not allow us to be together. Like all other relationships, family relationships require lots of compromise and continuous nurturing, which can only be accomplished through family bonding. It allows you to understand each other better and increase your mutual well-being. Continue reading our post to learn more about family bonding time and its vitality. We also share the advantages of family time and strategies to bond well.
What Is Family Bonding Time?
Family bonding time is the quality time that you spend with your family, doing things that you love. It could include doing activities together, going on a picnic, watching a movie together, having meals together, helping each other out, playing a game, and much more. It allows the members of a family to interact with each other, know and understand each other, feel united, and develop a stronger bond.
10 Benefits Of Family Bonding Time
“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.” —Richard Bach
Spending quality family time together can benefit both the parents and children in the following ways.
1. Improves educational and literary outcomes
Studies have shown parental involvement has a positive impact on children’s educational and literary outcomes (1) (2). Spending time together, showing keen interest in their school activities, doing homework together, etc., can have a huge impact on your children’s academic success.
2. Helps develop social skills
Bonding with family helps children learn essential social skills. It teaches them how to behave in social settings by watching their parents. It also allows parents to communicate with each other better and set examples for their children.
3. Helps create meaningful relationships
Family bonding time could help children form meaningful relationships with people outside the family—be it their teachers, peers, or elders. How you approach or interact with each other in the family would reflect how your children interact with people outside the immediate family circle.
4. Improves communication
It helps improve communication. Spending quality time together enables you to better understand each other better, express your feelings and thoughts, and welcome different opinions and perspectives (3). It helps encourage children to talk and discuss things openly with parents. It also helps children become active listeners.
5. Fosters unity
Family time means a time when families unite. A family that spends time together understands each other’s likes and dislikes and does things that help each other grow. They empathize with one another and learn to cooperate and live in harmony. It also allows your children to feel free to reach out to you with their problems.
Ashley, a mother of six children, shares how she spends quality time with her family. She says, “Fostering close relationships within our family unit definitely reduces conflict and gives my kids a sense of kinship (i).”
6. Helps resolve conflicts
Resolving conflicts that may arise within the family from time to time becomes easier when you have time for the family. A strong family that spends quality time together can relate to one another and come to terms with differences and help each other get through difficult times. It helps resolve conflicts outside the family as well. Spending time will lead to discussing matters that are troubling a family member and provide safe space for emotions.
7. Improves behavior
Children of parents who often spend quality time together are less likely to exhibit emotional and behavioral disorders (4). Also, family bonding time helps you value each other and build intimacy and trust.
8. Improves self-esteem
Family bonding time helps build self-esteem in children. Studies have proven that poor child-parent bonding leads to low self-esteem in children and may cause psychological distress (5). Spending quality time with the family helps children feel loved and accepted and enables them to appreciate their self-worth.
9. Helps reconnect
Family time helps you reconnect with your children. This is especially true if both of you are working parents and have very little time for your children on weekdays. Doing fun activities together at scheduled times of the day or on weekends can help your children open up to you and share more information about their lives.
10. Fosters mutual respect
Each member of a family can express themselves, value each other’s uniqueness, engage in dialogue, and feel comfortable sharing information about their life during family bonding events. Engaging in activities and understanding each other’s roles and boundaries can also help foster mutual respect.
As we grow older, our priorities change, and so do our bonding with people. Below is a chart showing with whom Americans spend most of their time based on their age. According to data collected by American Time Use Survey and Lindberg, teenagers spend most of their time with family and the least time alone. But this changes drastically as the time spent with family gradually decreases while solitary time surges through the years. Time spent with a partner also sees a rise in old age compared to youth when people are busier with work and other commitments.
Average time spent by Americans with different peopleSource: Who do we spend time with across our lifetime?; Our World in Data/American Time Use Survey /Lindberg
12 Ways To Create Family Bonding Time
There are myriad ways to create family bonding time. And most activities that you indulge in together won’t cost you a dime and can be done on an everyday basis. Here are a few ways in which you can create quality family bonding time.
- Create family rituals and traditions. Family rituals and traditions help you stay connected. Celebrate important family occasions or plan things that involve the entire family. Make a point to do the things you enjoy on these special days. This could help you, your spouse, and children to look forward to these special moments and these will be moments you will cherish for the rest of your life.
- Have meals together. Given our busy schedules, dinner or breakfast is perhaps the only time when all the family members get together. Make sure you spend this time sans the gadgets and give your undivided attention to each other. Having frequent family meals, besides strengthening your bonds, may also offer nutritional benefits and is related to several positive psychosocial outcomes in children (6) (7) (8).
- Do chores together. Divide the household chores, and ensure no one is overworked in the house. You could teach your children important life skills and instill the value of hard work and teamwork by introducing simple and age-appropriate household chores.
- Volunteer together. Get your family together and go out and help someone in the community. You could volunteer at a community center or help feed the needy. It could help your children develop empathy and understand the importance of giving. Moreover, volunteering is also associated with various health benefits and could improve your children’s social and relationship skills (9) (10) (11).
- Go on a family outing. Plan a family outing and spend time bonding with each other through fun activities. You could explore a wildlife park, a beach, or a zoo. The aim is to have a good laugh and spend good time together. Spending time outdoors can improve your health and well-being and also help you keep your children away from gadgets (12).
- Take up each other’s hobbies. Identify shared interests and hobbies—it could be reading, hiking, painting, fishing, or writing—and spend time doing those things together. You could take up each other’s hobbies and teach your children the valuable lesson of compromising to make someone else happy at times.
According to Ashley, starting a family book club is a great way to improve family bonding. She says, “As an avid reader myself, I have passed that interest to a few of my children. If you and your family are lovers of books as well, forming a family book club might be perfect for you. Allowing each member to take turns choosing the next read is a great way to keep each member of the family engaged. This also allows parents to familiarize themselves with what their children are reading as well as their pop-culture interests.”
- Schedule family game nights. This is one of the best ways to bring everybody together. Besides, games also allow you to teach your children patience, respect, turn-taking, fair play, and teamwork. You could try any of your favorite family games or try family board games to spend quality time at home.
- Cook together. Spend some special bonding time by helping each other out in the kitchen or organizing a barbecue afternoon. You could try out new recipes together or pass down the secret family recipes to your children.
- Visit grandparents. Children love spending time with their grandparents. Ensure you set a day, a week, or a month to spend time with their grandparents. In addition to providing your children with a lot of love and care, grandparents can also help your children treasure the cultural heritage and family history.
- Do projects together. Spend time doing a project together. It needn’t be anything serious. You could introduce some fun recycling activities or some gardening projects and activities and spend hours bonding and having a good time. Discussing various aspects of life such as emotional, moral, social, political (the type of discussion has to be understandable and age-specific) will help enhance knowledge.
- Share responsibilities. Encourage sharing duties among family members to encourage unity. Ensure participation of all members in daily chores such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry. You may get creative to include your children to make these activities more fun. For instance, collaborate in a “10-minute scramble” to clean each room and make the house look better while having fun. Also, assign everyone responsibilities, such as making their bed, folding and putting away their own clothes, and washing the dishes.
- Create a Mission Statement. Coming together as a family to determine your collective priorities can align everyone toward common goals. The mission statement should mirror the values that define your family. Discuss various ideas during dinner or family meetings, and once a consensus is reached, display it at home. For example, you may put up posters like “In our family, we treat each other with respect and communicate respectfully” and ensure all members abide by it.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why do families fall out?
There can be many reasons for falling out in a family, including inheritance disputes, disagreement over a choice of partner, addiction, abusive relationships, illness, resentments, disappointments, clashes over beliefs and values, and trauma (13).
2. What are the five traits of a healthy family?
Open communication, humor, and fun in the family, following precise rules and responding to changes when needed, genuinely respecting each other, and showing love and care towards each other are five traits of a healthy family (14).
3. How do I reconnect with my family after years?
If you want to reconnect with your family, you should first understand the cause of the fallout with your family and take time to heal or think through the situation. Once you have sorted your feelings, initiate contact; you should also listen to the other side of the story, and if needed, you should forgive or ask for forgiveness.
It is essential to know how to create family bonding to stay more involved and be aware of each other’s feelings. Even if you have been extremely busy, it is essential to understand that making time for your family is your duty. Therefore, begin with planning your schedules, think of ways to use family time in any given situation, and try to do it in the best way possible. These tips will help you spend some good quality time with your loved ones and strengthen family bonds by helping each other grow.
Infographic: How To Manage Time For Family Bonding?
Amidst busy work schedules, spending quality time with family can get difficult. However, setting clear ground rules can help you take time out for your family. Wondering how? Our infographic shares helpful time management tips you can follow to manage family time that will help you connect and bond with your loved ones.
- The quality time spent with family is important for both physical and mental wellbeing.
- Family time helps improve social skills, promotes bonding and prepares you to resolve issues and face challenges.
- Travelling together, taking part in each other’s hobbies and scheduling a fixed family time will help create family bonding.
Discover the key to true happiness: family bonding. Dive into a world of love, support, and quality time as we explore the magical connections that bring joy and fulfillment to our lives.
Personal Experience: Source
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13. Family estrangement; Independent Age.
14. Normal Functioning Family; American Academy of Pediatrics
15. 7 Benefits of Spending Time With Family; Goodnet
16. The Top Ten Benefits Of Spending Time With Family; Highland Srings Specialty Clinic