Family schedules can be crazy and hectic. Between school, work, chores, extracurricular activities and whatever else your family has on its plate, it can be difficult to spend quality time together. The new year is approaching fast, so if you’ve felt that you did not get enough bonding time in with your kids this past year, we have thought of some excellent ways to resolve this.
1. Start a family board game night. Pick one night of the week to keep everyone’s schedules clear – don’t schedule any extra curricular activities, make sure all your chores are done that night, and set aside those distracting electronic devices you are constantly glued to. Switch it up every week by letting a different member of your family pick the game for the week. Playing games together is a great way for your family to actively engage with one another, and having a specific night for this will give your children and yourself a sense of stability and relaxation to interject into your busy schedules.
2. Cook together. Even if your child is very young, they can still help you do simple things like mixing pre-measured ingredients together, tearing up lettuce, or garnishing dishes. If you ask your children to help you plan meals, it will make them feel special for contributing to an important part of family life. As your children grow older and begin making their own meals, they will appreciate the time you took showing them how to plan and prepare meals.
3. Have family dinners. Segwaying from cooking together, having dinner together is another important step in building relationships with your children. Studies on families have shown that having family dinners together have a significant impact on your child’s life. Children who often eat dinner with their families tend to make better grades and are less likely to develop rebellious habits. Families can discuss their daily happenings over dinner, sharing successes, failures, and staying constantly tied in with each other’s lives.
4. Work together. No matter the size of your family, there are always chores to do and projects to work on at home. Including your children in chore duties and house projects can help them feel a sense of accomplishment and pride while working alongside you and spending quality time together. It can also help them feel independent and responsible as they grow older because they will have the know-how to take care of themselves and their future homes.
5. Read together. Reading with your child, especially starting at a young age, is not only a wonderful way to spend time with them, but they will also learn a great deal about language, rhythms, sounds, and grammar. It’s no secret that exposing your child to a variety of literature while they are young will help them a great deal in school. Reading with your children is also an excellent opportunity to bring up topics that might not come up in normal conversations. It’s a calming and relaxing experience as well as a way to increase brain power!
Use these methods and any others you can think of to bring your family together and create lasting and loving relationships that are sure to last a lifetime!