Life can get pretty hectic once you have kids. That’s why it’s important to stop, sit down and just enjoy one another’s company. We often don’t realize how critical this is until it’s too late. On that note, here are five everyday ways you can strengthen your family bond.
Take a surprise ride
Jill Savage, a mother of five and the author of eight parenting books, recommends taking a surprise ride with your kids. “This is when the adults in the home decide to do something out of the ordinary, like going to get ice cream in their pajamas or going out to eat or to the park to play. Mom and Dad yell ‘surprise ride’ and everyone has about one minute to hop into the car to find out what the surprise is.”
Get your game face on
Whether it’s a card game, a board game or a round of miniature golf, round up the family for some fun, suggests Jill. “If you have teenagers, they probably won’t be excited about the activity initially, but they’ll relax and begin to enjoy themselves as you move forward, and don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”
Cook (and eat) dinner together
Editor of The Luxury Spot and mom Bryce Gruber says that a great way to strengthen your family ties is by cooking dinner together and eating at the same table at least a few nights a week. “We give my son the task of dumping cut up veggies into the salad bowl, setting the table and helping crack eggs and mix things as necessary. He loves it and is proud to eat his creations by the time we all sit down,” she explains.
Have a designated movie night
Bryce also notes that she and her family like to make time every weekend for a family movie at home. “Sometimes it’s a rainy Saturday afternoon with Aladdin or a quiet post-pool Sunday evening with vintage Knight Rider and freshly popped popcorn” (also super fun for kids to make, she says). “This is the easiest thing in the world to do, but it’s something for everyone to look forward to and encourages a lot of relaxation and cuddling.”
Create family rituals
Along the same lines of movie night, Dr. Fran Walfish, child and family psychotherapist and author of The Self-Aware Parent, says repetition of rituals brings family members closer together. “Perhaps it’s Mom and kids make pancakes every Sunday for breakfast, or Dad takes the kids fishing once every month. Whatever it is, be creative,” she advises. “Our family likes to take the same cabin ski trip every Thanksgiving or Christmas.”
Going on vacation or just need a cool game to play with the kids? Don’t forget to pack Spontuneous! It is a fun and novel board game that brings the whole family together via music, and kids and parents will have a blast bursting out into song as they spend some quality time together.