Sharing a pizza, tossing a football or taking an evening walk with a family member might sound like everyday activities. However, as a resolution, they can improve family relationships in the New Year, said a Baylor College of Medicine expert.
“Resolving to spend quality time together is an excellent way to build a stronger family,” said Dr. Catherine Romero Barber, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Baylor College of Medicine.
Barber offers these tips to make the family resolutions easier to achieve.
When selecting the activity, be sure that everyone has a say in what it should be, said Barber. If the activity is not working out, be flexible and come up with a new option.
The most important thing with any resolution is to be persistent.
“It takes about one month to create a pattern, but three months to create a habit,” Barber said. “The resolutions should be long-term commitments rather than quick fixes.”
A family calendar is a helpful way to stay on track with activities and goals, but merely staying on track will not strengthen the family ties. Barber said that families must ensure the time they spend together is quality time that promotes communication and creates memories.
“Sitting and watching television together is probably not the best idea,” said Barber. “You’ll want your children to remember these times for years to come.”
Family time might include eating together, taking walks or playing sports, she said. Volunteering is a great way to make a contribution to society and teach children about giving.
Worth the Effort
Benefits from spending quality time together include keeping children out of trouble, working through depression and improving academic performance.
All resolutions are challenging, but in the end, the benefits of spending quality time together will be well worth the effort.