Friday, February 17, 2012

Guest Blogger: Kristin Wells

I am so excited to have my first ever guest blogger.  
 Kristin Wells is a recent college graduate from The University of Georgia and an aspiring writer. She wants to make a difference in people's lives through her writing. Kristin also likes competitive cycling, running, and traveling as much as possible.
               A Family Who Crafts Together, Stays together
In today’s technological world, it’s more important than ever to engage children in hands-on, low-tech activities like crafting. Research has shown that children spend nearly five hours of every day staring at televisions, mobile devices and computer monitors. One recent study found that 50 percent of children under the age of eight use mobile phones and tablets and that about 30 percent of children under the age of two have televisions in their bedrooms.

All those hours spent in front of screens is time that is not spent interacting with parents, time that could be spent strengthening family bonds. Research also shows that people who do not establish strong bonds with their parents during childhood are less likely to develop secure attachments later in life. Spending time creating crafts together is not only psychologically beneficial, but a pastime that can be hugely enjoyable.

Much of the fun of family crafts comes from participating in an exchange of ideas. The collaborative experience offers children the opportunity to develop creativity and innovative solutions, skills that are very important in school and work. Through encouragement and positive reinforcement, family crafting also gives parents opportunities to build the confidence and self-esteem of their children.

Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of families creating crafts together is the sense of a job well done when the crafted item is completed. In today’s modern world, where each school or work day can feel much the same, seeing a project from its start to its completion is a hugely rewarding experience. Parents and children alike will take pride in saying, “I made that!”

Time shared, a sense of accomplishment and pure fun is more important than the particular craft that is ultimately created, but parents may want to suggest creating items that can be used and enjoyed by the whole family. A quilt that the entire family has worked on together, for example, will be enjoyed together for years to come. Each time that the family snuggles up on the sofa to watch a favorite movie, the quilt will remind them of the time that they spent together creating it.

Whatever the craft, the item will serve as a memento of childhood, a representation of the child’s unique contribution and participation at the time it was created, and will serve as a reminder that the family that crafts together stays together. There are many ways to get your family back to spending more time bonding together. The main thing is putting forth the effort. These moments will stay with you forever. Relieving your daily stress by spending quality time and having fun with your family is one of the main ways people dealing with illnesses cope. It is also one of the idea activities when dealing with
Pericaridal Mesothelioma, helping them through such rough times. Personally, some of my fondest memories were made doing similar activities. Of course, being the young person that I was at the time didn’t like spending time as a family, but now that I’ve got more perspective and can appreciate those times. Especially, since I no longer live at home, when I go back and see some of those things we created that my mom kept it brings all those memories back. 

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