It seems that as the kids get older the more busier we as a Family have become. Between dance lessons, soccer and softball practices and then everyday errands and special events we seem to be in a constant state of “hurry” and it is only getting more busy. Plus add to all these activities the fact our society has become more technology dependent there seems to be this disconnect between individuals. Next time you are at a restaurant, the playground or even on the bus…notice how many people are on tablets or smartphones instead of communicating with those around them. That is why our family has decided to make dedicated family time each week to help reconnect and become a stronger family unit. So if you are noticing the same thing happening with your family, here are some ideas on what might help you reconnect.
1. Pencil in Family Time
One of my favorite ways to pencil in family time is to set a certain family activity on a certain day of the week. This might sound silly but my kids LOVE our schedule of events each week. They know that “Wii Wednesdays” means we are playing fun games as a family on the Wii and we team up to try to beat the other family members. On “Friday Family Movie Night” we pick a movie, hopefully one we haven’t seen yet, and enjoy a homemade pizza that we made together and snack on homemade kettle popcorn. The kids look forward to this night every week and so do the adults! And with any family time it is extremely important to remember to turn off all computers, cellphones or TV (unless you are using the TV) so your focus is on your family.
2. Find Fun and Free Local Activities
Spending time as a family does not mean that you need to spend money. There are lots of free local activities that you can use to bond together as a family. Soon it will be March and that means New Hampshire’s Maple Weekend where the Maple Sugar Houses in the state are open to the public for free sampling, demonstrations and of course maple syrup! This is a great way to spend an afternoon with the family learning something fun and experiencing some of the local businesses. For local New Hampshire events I recommend Seacoast Kids Calendar or simply doing a Google search for free family activities in your area.
3. Stop. Sit. Talk
One of my favorite memories as a child was sitting with my mother and brother at the kitchen table enjoying our dinner and just talking. We had a rule that at the table we could talk about anything as it was the only time my single mother was able to get both kids in one location and focus on our day. We shared many, many stories both happy and sad at this table and it honestly was one of the best memories I have of our family. That is why when we sit down at the table we encourage the girls to talk to us about anything. Their school day, what happened, what they want to do this coming weekend or anything they wish. By opening this communication it bonds us as a family and also allows for more communication for the tougher subjects which are sure to be here before we know it.
Family Time does not need to be grand or expensive. Sometimes the simplest things are what makes our family an united force and brings the best memories to live. The important thing to remember is that it is your family and to make the time fun for you. Don’t follow someone else’s guidelines but create a way that is uniquely yours on how to have fun and enjoy each other. After all, family is all we really need.
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