There’s Even More Going On Than You See

The goodness of getting family together in the summer goes beyond the fun and recreation we can easily see. Studies suggest a host of other benefits we get – and give – when we make family gatherings a natural part of life.

And the need for those benefits surely seems to be greater than ever. A curious isolation came to us with digital connections. We are gazing at sparks, rather than campfires. In the digital world we see and hear only the things we already prefer, and our human attention grows ever narrower as a result.

Building the Stories That Hold Families Together

Family gatherings turn out to be a lot more than just temporary breaks in this digital isolation. They play a key role in solidifying the lasting stories that strengthen people by rooting them in a family narrative.

A New York Times story revealed that research is abundant on how to make families and other groups work together more effectively. The collective identity that comes from knowing the story of the organization is a cornerstone of these findings. The problem, the Times points out, is that this research and the know-how that it produced has often been isolated in the organizations that uncovered it – silicon valley and the military.

One of the most interesting family studies used 20 “Do You Know?” questions among children. “Do you know where your grandparents grew up?” for example, or “Do you know where your parents met?” Children who knew these things had higher self-esteem and a greater sense of control over their lives.

Family gatherings are where this knowledge begins and where this strength can be built.

The Benefits are Here and Now, Too

Four concise benefits are listed by Understood.org, Though this organization helps parents of children with learning and attention issues, the benefits of taking part in family gatherings apply to everyone as well.

  1. It’ll help your child bond with relatives.
  2. It’ll give your child typical life experiences.
  3. It’ll give your child more role models.
  4. It’ll help your family understand your child better.

Sometimes hectic holidays or the normal dynamics of a family can seem to make keeping young children at home seem like a sensible choice. But the benefits of making the effort prove more than worthwhile.

An Investment That Pays Through the Years

British researchers found fascinating benefits of family gatherings that extend throughout life. Nearly half of the adults they surveyed said that a family holiday was the happiest memory of their life, and substantially more than had said these memories would stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Like other studies, the British research suggested that greater affection, better behavior at home and at school, greater optimism, and ambition were among the results parents saw in their children in response to family holidays.

At Global Family Medicine we know that well being goes beyond medicine, and we are here to help. As a family resource you can know and rely on, we would like to become part of your family’s story. Just call us at 843-815-6468.