Connecting, Not Just Coexisting
You may all live under the same roof, but you still may feel disconnected from each other. Brushing your teeth side by side with your husband doesn’t mean you’re interacting. Even you and your children might be ships in the night as you prepare for your day and they begin theirs. If you can’t remember the last time you and your family had a conversation about more than what to buy at the grocery store, use these tips to start reconnecting.
GO FOR A WALK
Get out and get some fresh air together. Leave all cell phones behind and enjoy each other's company. Talk to each other and discuss your week.
Decide as a family what's on the menu (like pizza or homemade ice cream) and make the meal together. Assign each member of the family a responsibility in making the food -- then sit down and eat it together.
GO ON A STAYCATION
Plan a trip that's close to home (or stay right at home and spend the weekend together). Go to local museums, libraries or festivals. Camp out in the back yard. Try a new restaurant. Have fun exploring new (or old) places together.
Work as a family to help others who are in need. For example, during the holidays, you can adopt a family and purchase presents for them. Talk to each other about what you appreciate in your own lives as you work to help others.
HAVE A GAME NIGHT
Have some fun with some good old board or card games -- or just play charades. Divide up into teams and let the friendly competitive spirit take charge. You can even offer a grand prize in the end.
Put your family pictures in an online photo book, make a video of the pictures you've taken over the last few years, or just look at your photos as a family. Reminisce about the good times you've had.
TRY SOMETHING NEW TOGETHER
Do something you've never done before as a family. Sign up for a 5K, go camping, or attend a concert. Let everyone weigh in, and take a family vote to decide what you'll do.
HAVE A FAMILY PARTY
Come up with a theme and decorate. Play music, make festive food, and play games. You can even dress up. Having a party just for your family can be a fun way to bond.
HAVE A FAMILY MEETING
Anything can be on the agenda. Ask your children and each other what you've appreciated most about each other lately and even discuss what you think could improve in your relationships. Set the meeting to occur regularly.
GIVE AFFECTION EVERY DAY
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it's easy to forget to take a minute and give a hug. Try giving your husband and kids a kiss and hug every morning. Tell each family member, "I love you."
Life is busy -- and even though you see each other daily, you might feel emotionally separated from your spouse or your children. Even the simplest activities done together can bond you as a family and get you back on track.
More on Living
The opinions expressed in this article are of the author and the author alone. They do not reflect the opinions of SheKnows, LLC or any of its affiliates and they have not been reviewed by an expert in a related field or any member of the SheKnows editorial staff for accuracy, balance or objectivity. Content and other information presented on the Site are not a substitute for professional advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical or mental health advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on SheKnows. SheKnows does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.