As a parent, I cherish my family time, especially now that my husband and I are empty-nesters. Don’t get me wrong, I also love my time getting to know my husband again. But as our children headed back home from University of Central Missouri for summer break I found myself giving a lot of thought to why family is so important? What are the benefits to both the parents and children as they spend time as a family?
When my husband and I decided, over twenty years ago, that we were ready to be parents we knew we wanted to be involved parents. We also knew spending time together gave us all many benefits. Spending time as a familiy provides our children with feelings of love, support, security and safety.
All four of us enjoy sports, really any kind of sport. I always wondered if my husband and I were more musically inclined if our kids would have been? But sports seem to work for this family. In fact we always said our home runs (no pun intended) on team work. Our children knew early on that they had to help around the house if they wanted Dad or Mom to be able to help coach their softball team, volleyball team or volunteer in other ways.
Spending time with our teenagers got a little more difficult but we knew we should stay connected. We knew our involvement would help ward off peer pressure. When your children feel a connection to you and the character traits that you have instilled in them, it is easier for them to take pride in themselves, which may help them to be able to stand up for their own convictions.
Spending time together as a family can also be beneficial to your marriage. Family isn’t just about a parent spending time with their children. It’s also about spouses spending time together. When both partners are actively making time for one another, the marriage be stronger and will teach your children how any type of relationship needs to be nurtured.
As our daughters get older they understand the importance of what we fondly refer to as FFF night, Forced Family Fun! So whether you are just starting a family or you have older children it’s never too late to see the importance of family. We encourage you to make time for each other by enjoying an activity for all to participate in. This is one of the reasons why we love the Lee’s Summit community. There is always something going on! Take a walk around one of our many lakes, parks or trails. Head downtown to an annual community event such as Oktoberfest, Downtown Days or enjoy the many talents at Lee’s Summit’s Got Talent. There are many 5k races to train and participate in, together. Or just sit on your porch and strike up a conversation.
Julie Doane is the Vice President of the Lee’s Summit CARES Board