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Family Bonding

Family Bonding

Family game night promotes bonding. Photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Family game night promotes bonding.
Photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Warmer weather is here and it is time to plan some fun activities with the family.  This is also the time of year when many city organizations have prepared outstanding festivals.  Most festivals have something for everyone in the family.

It is always important to socialize as a family.  This increases family bonding.  Time together, whether outdoors or inside, is vital.  There are numerous ways to bond with your family, such as:

  • Eating meals together
  • Attending children’s extra-curricular activities together
  • Reading together
  • Going to the library as a family
  • Volunteering together
  • Family movie night
  • Family game night and many more

There are many benefits to planning and having family bonding time. These include:

*Educational Benefits

  • Increased focus on homework and reading for pleasure (Eisenberg, Olson, Neumark-Sztainer, Story, & Bearinger, 2004)
  • Improved school performance (Hamilton & Wilson, 2009)
  • Greater development of language skills (Snow & Beals, 2006)
  • Increased and more sophisticated level of vocabulary (Snow & Beals, 2006)

Health Benefits

  • Improved development of healthy eating patterns (Hamilton & Wilson, 2009)
  • Higher intake of several essential nutrients (Croll, Hannan, Neumark-Sztainer, Perry, & Story, 2003)
  • Decreased likelihood of having eating disorders (Ackard & Neumark-Sztainer, 2001)
  • Decreased likelihood of being overweight (Fulkerson, Kubik, Story, Lytle, & Arcan, 2009)
  • Less likely to develop depressive symptoms (Fulkerson et al., 2009)

Social and Behavioral Benefits

  • Less likely to be involved with cigarette, alcohol, and marijuana use (Eisenberg et al.,2004)
  • Increased sense of family connectedness, communication, and functioning (Hamilton &Wilson, 2009)
  • Increased likelihood of resisting negative peer pressure (Fulkerson et al., 2006)
  • More likely to experience positive identity assets (Fulkerson et al., 2006)
  • Less likely to attempt suicide (Fulkerson et al., 2006)
  • Less likely to engage in sexual intercourse (Fulkerson et al., 2006)

Overall Benefits for the Family

  • Regular and consistent family time
  • Reduction of anxiety and depression in children
  • Increased feelings of togetherness, coherence, and solidarity
  • Increased emotional and social bonding
  • Shared nutrition
  • Relaxing, talking, and laughing as a family unit

Family bonding sets the foundation for a strong family.  Family bonding gives your children stories for their present and later years.  Enjoy your family time!

*”Benefits of Family Meals”, Varnessa McCray, Victor W. Harris, and Martie Gillen, This document is FCS2324, one of a series of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date April 2013. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

 

PG

Author: sbouie – sbouie@ufl.edu

Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent in Jefferson County. I am a Florida A & M University graduate. My teaching experience includes Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Texas and South Korea.

Living Well in the Panhandle

Permanent link to this article: http://jefferson.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/05/19/family-bonding/