Are digital diversions robbing us of the valuable lessons of play and connectedness when it comes to spending time with our nearest and dearest?

Whether we’re posting on social sites, scrolling through emails, or watching countless hours of Netflix, we seem to be glued to our digital devices more than ever.

Yet that famous saying “stop and smell the roses” just isn’t enough at times to remind us that our kids will be grown before we know it and we should remember to pay attention to them now. I, for one, feel like there isn’t enough hours in the day to connect and be present, especially with those living under the same roof.

Sure, everyone has busy schedules and spending time together as a family can be a stretch. The good news is that there are ways to make it less burdensome and more pleasurable, without lots of sacrifice.  And the perks pay off…

1. Builds Self-Esteem. Children [especially] build self-confidence and find it easy to build relationships outside the family circle.

2. Greater resilience and academic achievements. “Investment in family time can lead to greater academic achievement through consolidation of work at home, greater communication with parents, and advocacy for children at school,” says child psychologist, Dr Sasha Lynn.

3. Creates memories. Children tend to share more about their lives in these ‘quality’ situations while enjoying an activity with you rather than when you ask them “How was school today?”

4. Relieves stress. Finally, chatting with your loved ones will help to reduce stress. Talking about worries will help to ease them.

5. Tighter family bonds. Quality time is not necessarily about what you do, but about being together, communicating and sharing time doing something you all enjoy. In our household, some of non-negotiables include having dinner regularly together (TV off), reading books, kicking the ball and riding the bikes on weekends, baking in the kitchen, board games and scheduling regular getaways.

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