Ready to take a short connectedness quiz?
- Who is your child’s favorite teacher of all time?
- What is your spouse’s favorite thing to do in his/her spare time?
- What is your child’s favorite meal?
- Given the opportunity for a night out, how would your spouse prefer to spend the evening?
- What person outside the family has most influenced your child’s life?
- What household chore does your spouse dislike the most?
- What accomplishment is your child most proud of?
- If money were no object, what one thing would your spouse most want to purchase?
- Who is your child’s hero?
- What makes your spouse feel truly loved?
Now, go check out your answers to see how close you were to getting them right. The only way to know all the answers to these questions is through being truly connected to your family.
“From a cultural standpoint, the connections that people have with one another and through social networks have been shown to improve the mental, physical and spiritual health of individuals,” said Christopher Brown, anthropologist and president of the National Fatherhood Initiative. “There is something that happens physiologically when people are connected, which is why people do better when they are involved in healthy relationships with others.”
One of the most powerful relationships is between a parent and child. Studies show that parents are the first and most important teachers of children. Kids thrive when they can depend on a reliable parent when they need to talk, when they want input, when they need a hug, or want assurance that life will work out.
Research from the University of Michigan found that the connectedness that takes place during frequent meal times with the family was the single strongest predictor of better achievement scores and fewer behavioral problems, even better than time spent studying or in church.
Experts agree that:
- Family dinner table conversation has been shown to increase children’s mental and verbal abilities;
- Eating together promotes good communication, and strengthens family bonds and relationships;
- Families who regularly eat together have more cohesion and unity; and
- Family meals give children a sense of security.
Connections count every day of the year. If you didn’t do so well with the quiz above, this could be a great opportunity for you to re-evaluate how you connect in your home.
Click here to read the entire article, which was originally published in the Chattanooga Times Free Press on November 18, 2018.