Your friendships benefit your kids for the rest of their lives. Here’s how…

Your friendships are just important for your children, as they are for you!

A new study has found that the more social connections a mum has, the better it is for everyone in the family.

Children pick up important social skills and learn how to bond with their peers by watching their parents.

How your friendships can help benefit your kids

Over 500 mums took part in the study, which was conducted by the University of Tennessee.

Experts found that when a child witnesses their mother’s social relationships, it helps improve their cognitive development.

“From the child’s perspective, these intimate bonds form the basis for solid attachments and provide prototypes for adulthood and the basis for social interaction,” the authors say.

“Social relationships are associated with cognitive development in children… social relationships beyond the mother-child-father triad.”

It takes a village

With more women than ever before, living away from their families, friends have become a support network. And we all know it takes a village to raise a child.

“Mothers with larger social networks may be able to draw on resources from those networks that alleviate some of the burdens associated with parenting,” study co-author Kaja LeWinn told Reuters.

“This may include emotional support, tangible support in the form of babysitting or help with errands, and the transfer of knowledge around high-quality daycare or other childhood programs. 

“These resources may reduce parenting stress and improve maternal mental health, both of which are positively associated with child cognitive development.

“Our results captured the importance of a community-based social life.”

Mums need to go out with friends TWICE a week for better overall health

Meanwhile, did you know that if you make time to hang out with your friends twice a week will improve your overall health and happiness.

A study conducted by Oxford University found that women who go out with their girlfriends often had better health and happiness than those who didn’t.

Mums should go out with friends TWICE a week for better HEALTH and HAPPINESS

Robin Dunbar, a researcher on the study, noted that women who get together with four best friends twice a week where they “do things” is of utmost importance.

“Doing things” consists of drinking, gossiping, talking and basically overall girlie time. But you don’t have to be a night owl or a big drinker, quite the opposite. The importance lies in releasing endorphins while laughing or having a giggle and just generally enjoying time with friends.

Mums should go out with friends TWICE a week for better HEALTH and HAPPINESS

Benefits of time with friends include a faster recovery time from illness, a stronger immune system, lower anxiety levels, as well as increased generosity levels.

What’s more, the study found that having a larger number of friends ensures you have a higher pain threshold and they will help you live longer.

“The figure of twice a week comes from our findings that this is the amount of time that you typically spend with your closest friends/family,” Dr. Robin Dunbar tells The Vancouver Sun

“For both sexes (no surprise) having a large, well-integrated social network has a significant impact on both physical and emotional health.”

“People with larger and/or more integrated networks suffer less illness, recover quicker from surgery, are less likely to die — and even their children are less likely to die.”

Mums should go out with friends TWICE a week for better HEALTH and HAPPINESS

However, researchers noted that only 2 out of 5 women have the time to actually go out with their girlfriends once a week, even less often if they have children to care for.

“Research shows that women, [possibly] more than men, need to maintain friendship connections. It increases serotonin and oxytocin, the bonding hormone,” says Alisa Ruby Bash, PsyD, LMFT.

 “We get busier, with more responsibilities. It makes us feel nurtured and validated to hang out with friends we can be totally ourselves [with], minus the outside pressures.”

Sounds like it’s time to make some plans with the girlfriends. For health reasons, obviously.

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