Spending relaxed and positive family time together increases the self-esteem, happiness, and mental well-being of kids and adds to a sense of belonging for the whole family. Strong bonds between parents and children rely upon consistent, meaningful interactions. An outdoor living space at home gives you more opportunities to connect as a family with healthy, nurturing activities that will create lasting memories.
The Benefits of Family Time
The substantial benefits of quality family time have been established by science in studies that show:
- Bonding and communication improve dramatically for the whole family
- Family time builds confidence in children
- Kids who are engaged with their family perform better in school
- Teens are much less likely to engage in risky behaviors
- Spending quality time together improves parenting skills and lowers stress for all family members
Tips for Creating Quality Family Time
First of all, let’s establish the definition of “quality” family time. It’s not about rushing between extracurricular activities and supervising homework; meaningful time between parents and children involves children and parents being immersed in an activity together.
Because we all have such hectic schedules these days, studies have shown that many families are spending just 37 minutes of “quality time” together on weekdays. On weekends the numbers look better, with many of us able to dedicate more than 2 hours to family time. A welcoming outdoor living space with a louvered roof that allows for gathering in any weather or season can help significantly increase the quality of the time your family spends engaging with each other.
We’re all more disconnected from the outdoors than in previous times and this can be especially detrimental for young kids. A recent article in the Washington Post noted that “The average American child spends five to eight hours a day in front of a digital screen, often at the expense of unstructured play in nature.” The benefits of spending more time in nature include:
- Better school performance
- More creativity
- Higher levels of fitness
- Stronger bones (exposure to natural light mitigates vitamin D deficiency)
- Improved eyesight
- Better sleep
- Overall longer lifespan (active kids become active adults)
A safe outdoor living space with a louvered roof custom designed for your family’s lifestyle makes it easier and more enjoyable to spend time outside.
Have a Game Night
A classic game night is an ideal way for your family to connect. Game nights promote:
- Sibling relationships – kids get to team up against parents and develop an appreciation for teamwork
- Sense of family tradition – many of the lasting memories kids develop over the years are attached to traditions shared over many years
- Problem solving development – whether it’s learning the strategy of the game or how to win (or lose) with grace, games teach us many essential life skills without us even noticing
Set Aside Family Time (No Matter What)
When we decide to refocus on making family time a priority, the first step is to create space by editing other things on our busy “to-do” lists. We have to learn to say “no” to other commitments and actually put family time on the calendar. Some other tips for fitting family time into a hectic schedule:
- For the time you have set aside, make sure you’re fully present with your kids – no phones, TV, chores – just focused time to engage together
- Let go of perfection – your space doesn’t have to be perfectly clean and organized and each dinner doesn’t have to be a gourmet production or have every important food group covered
- Make your family time purposeful – side by side activities and experiences, such as cooking a meal together or playing a game together outdoors, create a sense of bonding.
Cook Dinner Together
Did you know that 60 years ago, the average dinner time for United States families was 90 minutes? Today, it’s closer to 10 minutes. A recent poll by YouGov found that 62% of parents with children under 18 wish they had family dinners “much more often” or “somewhat more often.”
Kids who eat dinner with their family on a regular basis have healthier weights, perform better academically and have improved relationships with their parents. With an outdoor living space, your family meals can depart from the ordinary and take on a character kids may respond to more positively than they would to a trip to the local restaurant. Family meals can be outdoors yet private, colorful, casual, and fun! A louvered roof helps protect your BBQ or outdoor kitchen and makes outdoor family meals feel intimate and special.
An Outdoor Living Space with a Louvered Roof Promotes Family Time
Many families report that vacations are the only time they feel like they truly have enough “family time.” Having a beautiful outdoor living space with a louvered roof is like taking a family vacation together in your own backyard!
With an outdoor living space where the whole family enjoys gathering, you’ll have an established place to share meaningful activities. A louvered roof protects your outdoor living space and makes it possible to enjoy your backyard together in almost any weather and almost any season. Night or day, a dedicated outdoor space for family that embraces beautiful natural surroundings can become the heart of your home.