Family Time


How much time does your family spend together?  New research has found that families who routinely sing, play, story-tell and eat dinner together have children who have higher levels of social and emotional health.

United Press International reports on the study which was published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

It found children who participated in five family routines were more than twice as likely to have high social-emotional health.

Social-emotional health involves the ability to understand emotions, express empathy, demonstrate self-regulation, and form positive relationships with peers and adults.

High social-emotional health in early childhood is thought to help a child adapt to the school environment and perform well academically. It’s also is a good predictor of children’s long-term outcomes.

The researchers analyzed data from a large sample of preschool-aged children from across the country.  They asked parents of these kids how many times their ate dinner together per week, how often they sang songs, read books and told stories to their kid, and how often they played together.

They found that for each additional routine that a parent and child do together, there is an almost 50 percent greater likelihood of that child having high social-emotional health.

So my advice is: turn off the TV and computer, put your mobile devices in a basket in the laundry room, and spend some time reading or playing with your kids tonight.

For some great ideas on incorporating spiritual truths into your playtime, check out the book 52 Creative Family Time Experiences by Timothy Smith.

If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.

Listen to today’s audio.