Spend More Family Time Together
Posted: May 5, 2012
In many families, both parents work and finding quality time to spend with their children must be planned for. Yet, even the best laid plans can be disrupted by phone calls, television and other everyday interferences.
Louisiana State University Cooperative Extension family development specialist, Dr. Rebecca White, says one way to avoid such distractions is by regularly spending more time outdoors with your children. Outdoor activities like bike riding or hiking provide opportunities for family members to talk, to get to know one another better, and to strengthen bonds among family members.
Children need their parents’ attention and instinctively children seek this attention. If parents don’t give their time freely, children will begin to demand it. These demands often materialize in a negative way.
Adults often schedule "get-away" times for themselves, but may not make the same effort to spend time with their children. Dr. White advises to plan for special times with children. Even spending just 15 uninterrupted minutes with children individually can help strengthen relationships with each child. Additionally, Dr. White suggests getting away from the house to make sure interruptions are kept to a minimum.
These meaningful times spent together as a family help children feel important and nurtured. This helps children to develop in a positive way as they grow. They will appreciate the memory of these kinds of activities in the years to come.
To learn more about developing positive relationships with children, register for The Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10-14. It is a seven week program designed to reduce adolescent substance abuse and other problematic behaviors in youth ages 10 – 14 years. Youth benefit from attending the sessions by learning to: prepare for their teen years, communicate with their parents, deal with stress and peer pressure, and avoid alcohol and drug problems. Parents and caregivers enhance their parenting skills by: learning to set limits and show love, making house rules, encouraging good behavior, protecting their children from substance abuse, and learning to handle stress.
A program is beginning on Sunday, June 10 at the Daleville United Methodist Church 423 Dorantown Rd., Rt. 435 Covington Twp. from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. It is free and includes a meal for the entire family every week, child care for younger children and prizes for attendance. Space is limited so register early.
For more information or to register for this fun, family oriented program, call Penn State Cooperative Extension at 963-6842 by May 25.
Karen Thomas is a family and consumer sciences educator for Penn State Cooperative Extension of Lackawanna County.