I try to read the LDS Church News now and then in order to be a good little Mormon and to know more about the church beyond just my local congregational activities. Recently, I came across a great article: New BYU Study Examines Quality Time with Dad. It's nothing earth-shattering, but it is nice to see some research back up common sense.
The gist of the article is that " the single greatest predictor of family cohesion, family adaptability and overall family functioning was when a father was involved in quality core family leisure activities" as opposed to balance leisure activities. Mothers have no significant effect! Okay, I made up the last part and am just kidding. But it is funny how sometimes studies, like this, come out and their results seem to indicate a silver-bullet solution to our problems just because the statistics can be shown to say so. But let's assume that they/we are just talking about a father's individual influence on their family. It is the core leisure activities (day-to-day), not the balance leisure activities (bigger, planned) that are more effective. So what are these activities? The article listed a few.
Examples of core leisure activities:
- Eating a meal together
- Playing board games
- Watching TV and movies
- Playing sports in the yard/park
- Playing video games
- Attending children's performances
- Reading books
Examples of balance leisure activities:
- Eating out
- Sporting events
- Boating and fishing
- Visiting the zoo
It's not that the latter aren't good, but without the former they aren't very effective. I mostly wrote this because it hit home with me. That's why starting tomorrow we're eating out every meal, going camping every night, hiking everywhere we go, while on a continuous vacation. That's right, I'm making the balance and core leisure activities one in the same. Wish me luck! (Just kidding. I would never need luck.)