If family time has turned into a blur of rushing the kids off to school in the morning and speeding them through dinner, bath and bedtime in the evenings, it’s time to slow down and focus on making the most of your time together. Here are five ideas that will help your family reconnect.
If you and your family are spending more time with your mobile phones, iPads, iPods and TVs than you are with each other, step away from the electronics. Of course, technology is a wonderful thing, but it’s so easy to let screen time get in the way of family time. Designate one hour each evening as Unplugged Hour, and remember what people used to do together before computers ruled the world.
The Importance of Family Dinners VII, a report from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University released in September 2011, found that teens who had frequent family dinners are 1-1/2 times likelier to report having an excellent relationship with their mothers, more than twice as likely to report having an excellent relationship with their fathers, and almost twice as likely to report having an excellent relationship with their sibling(s). Sit down with your family as often as possible, and talk about what’s on everyone’s mind.
Designate one night of the week as family game night. Share some laughs with a game of charades, or match wits with your kids over a game of chess. If the weather is nice, head outside and get active. Try hitting a tennis ball straight up into the air with a racket and having the kids catch it. Toss a Frisbee or play a game of kickball. Playtime is a great way for the entire family to reconnect.
Schedule date nights with your kids
In a family with two or more kids, giving each child the one-on-one attention she craves is difficult. Set aside a weekly or monthly date night, and go out to dinner or on a special outing of your child’s choice.
Family volunteering is a great way to reconnect with your family while teaching them about the importance of lending a hand to those in need. Check with a local food bank to see if they have family volunteer days, or ask if they can assign a specific task to you and your family.