Whether your kids are young and living at home, away at college or with families of their own, it is important to stay connected. What do you do to strengthen family bonds and make sure your family stays close together?
Let's get together
Busy school and work schedules, play dates and general day-to-day busyness can dramatically decrease the amount of time spent together as a family. It's time to bring your family closer together by making family time a priority and supporting one another. Here are six fun ways to get closer as a family!
Write notes to each other
Bring a smile to the beautiful faces of everyone in your family by reminding them how much you care. Tuck notes into backpacks, briefcases and bags. Leave a Post-it on the computer monitor, on the front of the refrigerator or on the car dashboard. A cute idea for kids is to write "I love you!" on an unpeeled banana's skin and tuck the banana in your child's lunch box. For kids who are in college or away from home, send a weekly email just to check in.
Cook and bake together
Teach your children how to cook by making it a family fun time. Pass down the family recipes from generations past and maybe even get creative and come up with some new family recipes together. Start out slowly and remember to always supervise your children in the kitchen.
Eat dinner as a family
With all of the conflicting schedules it's easy to let the craziness take over. Make time as often as possible to sit down and have dinner together; turn off the television and listen to one another as you talk about everyone's day. Make Sunday night family night. Invite extended family over to promote bonding with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives.
Create rituals and traditions
Rituals and traditions are not just for the holidays. Try integrating some traditions into your weekly or monthly routines. How about a family game night or maybe a movie night? Traditions and rituals create memories that last a lifetime.
Support each other
All the members of your family have special talents and interests. Take the time to go to your daughter's dance recital or your son's soccer game as a family. Show them that you (and the whole family) support them by attending the special activities for each family member. The members of your family will appreciate the support and love that you give them and it also gives you a chance to spend quality time together.
Everyone has a voice, so listen to it
You raised your children to have an opinion and to be their own person. So, when you are deciding how your family should spend time together, allow your children to chime in with their opinions. If your children feel like their opinions and preferences are considered they will be happier to hang out all together; they may even look forward to it.
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