Blankets and throws were practically made for spending time with children. They let you wrap up your kids after a bath, before tucking them in for bed or while reading a favourite story together. Boys and girls alike giggle in delight snug as a bug. At Pottery Barn Kids, we know how much you treasure those intimate moments with your children. That’s why we make our blankets and throws extremely soft. Did you know that quality time with kids has health benefits for them and for you? Here are a few reasons that having children close is a great idea.
Just hugging your kids does a ton. Cuddling together with a fuzzy blanket reduces stress and anxiety, slows your heart rate and puts you in a good mood. The surprise? Those effects are just as much for you as for your children. Physical contact coupled with affection makes babies, toddlers and school-age kids feel safe, secure and loved.
Another benefit of snuggling with children for a bit is that it helps them to sleep better. If you give them a bath before bed, the effect is even stronger. Basically, as their body warms back up – thanks to a toasty blanket and your skin – their body realizes that it’s time to shut down for the night. Even babies tend to sleep longer in this way.
If fact, some researchers suggest that cuddling babies literally makes teething hurt less for them. The calming sensation of your touch helps them to relax. It promotes bonding between parents and their newborn too. One important note: wrapping babies up in a blanket is great for when you’re cradling them in your arms, but most pediatricians recommended having newborns sleep with only a fitted crib sheet for safety reasons.
Reading with children before bedtime is another favourite family occasion. Not surprisingly, it also has a lot of benefits for your kids. It promotes both mental and emotional development, as they hear your voice, the affectionyou have for them, the sound of laughter and the way you express different emotions in the reading. It’s also a great opportunity for some one-on-one time where children feel comfortable opening up.
At what age can you start readingto your kids? Anytime you want. In fact, many studies suggest that babies learn to recognize your voice and detect emotions before they’re even born. Preschool and school-age children receive extra benefits from sharing a story at night. Hearing you read – and eventually getting in on the action themselves – stimulates intelligence, creativity, imagination, listening skills and helps many kids to have a longer attention span. Plus, it gives them a chance to practice reading in a zero-pressure environment.
Another wonderful time for families to be together is at the breakfast table. Here, blankets and throws play a special part, and even more if it’s cold outside. A fuzzy rug and slippers are also a big help in getting kids around the table on a cool day. Why eat together? For one thing, it makes your children feel very comfortable being around you; they look forward to it! They can’t wait to tell you about their dreams, or ask you for help with something.
What can you talk about? Anything at all. Kids love to ask questions, and often say things that make you laugh too. One suggestion is to keep things as positive as possible. That way you can focus on encouraging them, inspiring them and teaching them. To your kids, you’re their hero.
This close relationship is a gift that keeps on giving, both for parents and children. Some studies suggest that eating together as a family when they’re young makes it more likely for teenagers to open up to their parents about peer pressure or ask for advice. Moms and dads also treasure every moment spent with their kids as they grow up.