Armony in health 4 April, 2017 Isabel Vallejo
Engaging in activities together is an important part of strengthening family bonds and of teaching values.
Medical Advisor Judith Medina Vargas
Clinical psychologist, practitioner at Coomeva Private Healthcare
Playing games is the quintessential social activity. Games allow us to learn about each individual’s personal character traits, as long as they are not games played on a mobile device. Technology has a large influence on family dynamics and notably affects interpersonal relationships and our understanding of others’ behaviors. See also Couples in harmony with their families.
According to Judith Medina Vargas, a clinical psychologist that specializes in families, while it is true that we all must learn to coexist with the advances of technology, especially with using social networks, these advances tend to distance the members of a family and favor individualism. They isolate people, which inhibits face to face communication, conversations, family gatherings and family unity.
This situation is becoming more and more common and is magnified by the fact that the modern world is a fast world, and time with family gets lost in it. See also Turn family conflict into an opportunity.
An activity to do together
Games are an ideal way to help human relationships grow. They help develop creativity, imagination and foster face to face conversation with others as they require the participation of two or more players for them to work. When a family gathers together in a specific environment, for example to play a board game, opportunities arise to pass on values such as respect, collaboration, tolerance and patience; all of which are necessary elements of game playing and apply perfectly to our daily lives.
These games are not as efficient, however, if parents themselves do not take on the role of providing the example, as this is how children learn the values that can arise during a game.
Another advantage of this activity is not only the opportunity to laugh and learn from what is being discussed, but it is also a way to understand the movements and body language of others who have the task of communicating information to others. People have to communicate the feelings that arise as they play: happiness, frustration, friendship and effort. As these gestures and movements become recognized, it becomes easier to identify and become familiar with the feelings of others.
Also, depending on how parents look at their children when they do something wrong during the game, they may learn to feel at ease or they may learn to feel scared. What they learn is what they will share later with their friends or with the rest of the family.
While playing video games together can serve to stimulate conversation between parents and children, the recommendation is to pay attention so that these games do not become a source of conflict. More importantly, parents should truly connect with the child’s world and should learn to use this technology to teach values and communicate with their children
The importance of conversation
Face to face communication is slowly becoming lost not only in society, but within families, the foundation of society. At least two people are needed to have a conversation. Conversation should not just consist of the exchange of written words, like with chatting. It should be about talking, and what is said should be enhanced by the tone of voice and the gestures that go along with the words. There should be an opportunity to listen attentively to another and acquire arguments to support opinions, disagree with others and reach a compromise. It is important for people to be able to share their feelings, thoughts and opinions with those that surround them.
When parents and children have conversations with each other, decision-making, establishing rules and abiding by them, and understanding and transmitting parental love can become more participatory activities. Face to face, direct, clear and positive communication is important to have a united family and a healthy emotional family environment, where spaces for misinterpretations are reduced to a minimum and where assumptions and technology do not lead to unnecessary arguments, or even to separation or divorce •
Playing games as a family helps stimulate creativity and imagination, promotes communication and allows family members to get to know each other.