With all the stresses of modern life, it is hard to be a parent. You want your children to do well in school so that they can make the best of life, you want them to be fit and healthy, you want them to grow up knowing good manners and how to behave properly in society.
Wanting your children to have fun is often overlooked on the ever-lengthening list of parental desires. Yet it too has its place in childhood. It is also especially important that you – the responsible adult in the family – set aside time in your schedule to have fun with the kids.
The type of activities that you do together will depend on the family. Essentially, it should be:
• An activity that everybody in the family enjoys doing together. This could be cooking together, playing hide-and-seek or a board game, or going for a walk.
• Participation requires everyone to be physically present – no long distance participation from different rooms of the house!
• Nothing too challenging, competitive, or strenuous – it should be something that helps everyone in the household relax.
• An activity that gives you the opportunities to communicate directly with each other by talking, laughing, or playing.
Here are three reasons why having fun together as a family is so important.
1. Bonding with your Children
Play is one of the main tools young children use to learn about the world and its people. A large chunk of their social interactions are formed through play with each other. Having a parent lead by example and encourage them to play will help strengthen your children’s social interaction skills.
Getting involved in a game with your children also gives you an exclusive chunk of time with them when neither party is pre-occupied with alternative tasks. Working together towards a common goal will help you unite as a family and forge closer relationships.
2. The Importance of Laughter
A lot of scientific research has highlighted just how important laughter is to our physical, emotional and psychological health. It helps us to relax, it boosts our immune system, and it helps individuals to bond with each other.
Even if you spend a couple of minutes a day giggling over a funny book, the entire family will experience the benefits of funny jokes for kids.
3. Don’t Take Life Too Seriously
When you emphasise homework or fitness over games and enjoyment, you send the message to your children that the most important things in life are to do well academically and maintain a healthy appearance. But this isn’t the whole picture – happiness and personal wellbeing are integral to leading a fulfilling life. Children will have the rest of their adult lives to be serious, and childhood should come with a bit more freedom.
As a grown-up, it’s a lesson you might need to remind yourself of now and again: doing silly, impromptu things with your children is a great way to let go of work-related stress and create valuable memories with your family.