“For some families, quality togetherness is having dinner together or playing games; for others, it may be hobbies, videos or TV, music. At the end of the day, what matters is that we are social beings who crave a sense of belonging and connectivity.”
– Karen K. Melton
Many parents plan outings with the kids on weekends and evenings. Touring museums, attending sports events, and visiting amusement parks are fun activities. But Baylor University researchers found that simple family fun, namely, spending quality time in familiar activities inside the home, may make for a happier family.
This is good news for minimalist families trying to simplify their schedules and save money.
The theory is that, in less familiar surroundings, the family’s attention is primarily focused on dealing with the environment. In familiar environments, however, we give more attention to fostering relationships.
Unfortunately, there’s a bit of a fly in the ointment with that theory, since families were also happy if they traveled outside of their community for leisure activities. So, if you’re leaving the house as part of your family leisure time, you might be better off taking a trip an hour or two away than staying in your own neighborhood.
Also, many families enjoyed leisure in their community more than leisure at home. Researchers theorize that families often don’t engage in meaningful activities when chilling out at home. They recommend further research on “optimal family leisure experiences.”