Juggling between work, school, doctor’s appointments, hobbies, and community service makes it somewhat challenging to bond as a family. The recent technological advancement is equally making things more complex. Today’s families can be eating dinner together while staring at their phones looking to connect with the outside world, thus missing out on what matters most — family connections.
Family members forget that life isn’t about successfully getting from one point to the next, but about the little moments with family along the journey. However, increasing your connection as a family will not happen overnight. You have to make the effort to find time and instill certain rules within your home. Commit the following five essential practices if you are looking to strengthen the bonds within your family.
1. Create New Family Traditions
Regardless of whether you have teens or school-age kids, you need to plan for family time. An excellent way of achieving this is through making and maintaining new traditions. Doing this opens up enough time to connect with every family member while fostering discipline.
Options include entering the annual 5k walk, attending the local festival, or running together. You could also consider picking the first apples of the season or carving the Halloween pumpkins. There are several activities to choose from, but you need to ensure it includes every member of the family. It also needs to be an activity that happens at least every year like clockwork.
2. Eat Meals Together
Pick out a few nights of the week when you expect every family member to sit together for dinner. It will help if you ban the use of electronic gadgets or phones during these sittings. Ensure everyone understands that they need to enjoy the meal together while having meaningful conversations.
According to several studies, eating meals as a family has positive effects on children’s mental and physical well-being. What happens when your schedules collide, and you can’t find time for dinner as a family? Well, consider sharing breakfast. What’s vital is finding a suitable time to come together and enjoy a meal.
3. Family Game Night
Everyone will enjoy themselves when playing a game with the family. It is a common denominator that will have every family member talking, thus increasing connections. A little competitive spirit also goes a long way in ensuring you have a fun night.
What is great about game night is that you can always invite friends over and divide everyone into teams. Therefore, effectively increasing competition and encouraging different pairs to bond. Try teaming up kids against parents or boys against girls to make things more exciting.
4. Plan Family Vacations
Planning a family trip will help foster connections because you get to spend a lot of time together. Contrary to what most people think, you don’t need to spend a fortune on a family vacation. Instead of looking towards exotic places, consider nearby attractions or parts within your city. It will also help to consider camping trips when you are on a budget.
Any location that you haven’t visited will give you the experience you need to cultivate your family connection. It gives you something new to talk about during family dinners or game nights. However, ensure you consider every family member when planning your next vacation.
The Bottom Line
Increasing your connection as a family starts with the above steps. However, you need to show commitment. It is not enough that you are physically present at these events, you also have to show up mentally. Finally, understand that it might take time to build strong family connections. Therefore, stick with the above practices until everything works out.