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Nowadays, our jobs are taking up more and more of our time and causing us great amounts of stress. Seeing as how our family is the most important thing to us, we work extra hard to provide for them and as a result, we don’t get to see our loved ones that often. Before you know it, your kids are all grown up and this lack of time spent together usually leads to a strained relationship.
To avoid this scenario, you should try to spend as much time with your kids while they’re still young. In order to deepen the bond between you and your family members, there are a lot of approaches, from simply talking to doing various activities together. If you wish to learn more about how to do this, take a look below.
Talk to each other
Talking to your family members is essential, regardless of how much time you get to spend together. It doesn’t matter how busy you are, you always have to make time for your loved ones, be it in the morning before you leave for work or before they go to bed. You have to show them that you are there for them and are willing to listen to everything they have to say. Allow them to be completely honest with you and provide them with a judgment-free environment. Knowing that they have your support no matter what will let them tell you whatever is on their mind. In order to create a strong family bond, you have to be able to communicate openly and have no secrets among you.
Eat at least one meal a day together
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, you should introduce a rule that, for at least one meal a day, all of you should sit together at the table. We often eat on the go, on our own, while doing something else as well. Try to stop this practice by banning all technology during your meal. That means no photos of food, no texting with friends and no checking work emails. No watching TV either. This time is meant to bring you closer as a family, so use it for your daily talk sessions and let each family member tell everyone about their day. Plus, there are other benefits of family dinners, including improved academic performance and decreased risk of drugs and alcohol as well as depression.
Prepare meals as a family
In addition to eating as a family, you should try to cook or bake together as well. You probably have great memories of cooking with your parents or grandparents, and you should prepare meals with your kids so that they also get to experience this. It’s not just a bonding exercise, it will also teach them about healthy eating and it might even result in a love for cooking. Depending on how old your kids are, you can have them do various tasks, from washing and peeling vegetables to chopping them. They can even do the measuring – this is also a great way to introduce them to math at a young age. You can easily find recipes and tips for cooking with kids online. Bonus activity: clean up afterward together as well.
Start a family garden
Another amazing way to spend time together is by starting your own garden. The great thing here is that you can do it on a windowsill if you live in a small apartment or outside in your backyard. Seeing as how there is a wide range of plants you can grow, talk to your kids to see whether they have any preferences. You can opt for veggies, herbs, flowers and even low-maintenance plants. This is an opportunity to teach them about healthy food as well as responsibility, in addition to talking to them about everyday stuff. Once the plants grow, they’ll feel super proud of themselves and thankful to you for introducing them to this activity. Plus, there are many health benefits of gardening, including improved mental health.
Stay fit and healthy
Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash
A good way to encourage your kids to stay healthy is to show them various fun types of working out. While they’re still young, you can try to incorporate half an hour of exercise into their daily routine and they will most likely continue it as they get older. Teaching them various skills will also be beneficial for their life later on and they’ll probably always remember these moments fondly. For instance, they should learn how to ride a bike and in case they already have this skill in their arsenal, you can go riding together on weekends. In case you live in a hilly area or are planning a longer ride, look into electric bikes and get some help when pedaling. Just make sure to wear a helmet! Moreover, swimming lessons can also help build trust and improve your relationship and it is a skill they will forever be thankful for.
Travel with your kids
While traveling with kids can often seem tedious, if you plan it the right way and well in advance, you should have no problems on this adventure. Decide together whether this will be a weekend getaway for a 10-day vacation. If your kids are old enough, you should include them in the decision-making process when it comes to choosing the location. By showing them that you respect their wishes, this trip should be quite smooth and without any arguments. Furthermore, once you get to your destination, don’t try to plan everything to the smallest detail but be with your family and be in the moment. Try a technology detox and teach your kids how to enjoy such amazing experiences.
Spend time in nature
If you’re an outdoorsy family, camping might be just what you need. Being basically cut off from the world will allow you to bond and talk during these few days. You can teach your kids how to behave in the wilderness, how to start a fire, how to treat the planet by not throwing trash around, and so much more. Get all the right equipment and rough it out for a couple of days. However, if your kids are too small or you just don’t have anywhere else to go, you can also set up a tent in your backyard and camp there. Not having access to all the gadgets we rely on today should really deepen your connection.
Organize game and movie nights
On the other hand, if you prefer the indoors, the options are not lacking either. You can designate a night every week for playing games. One week, it can be board games; the next, video games; and the one after that, bowling or minigolf. Let your kids choose the games and enjoy themselves – and let’s be honest, you’ll probably also have fun. Some other evening can be reserved for family movies. Make some popcorn, get comfy, cuddle up and watch all of your favorites. You can stick to classic family movies or introduce them to something new – it’s up to all of you.
Other activities to consider
The list of activities you can do with your kids to strengthen your relationship is practically endless. Here are some other interesting options:
- Volunteer – Teach your kids the importance of kindness by volunteering together at a local charity or event. Not only will you get to spend time together and feel better both physically and mentally, but you will also help those in need.
- Join a class – If your child is a bit older, maybe they’d like to attend some sort of class with you. Pottery, yoga, cooking and painting are just some of your choices.
- Support your sports team – If you can afford to watch a game live, that can be an amazing bonding opportunity; if not, simply yelling at the TV will also do the trick.
- Random acts of kindness – Show each other how much you care with spontaneous hugs and saying how much you love each other.
It doesn’t matter how demanding your job is, your family is not something you can afford to neglect. In addition to all of the above-mentioned activities, work with your family to build your own traditions. Don’t be afraid to try new things, as you never know when you might find your new passion or even something in common with your family members. These experiences are what you should focus on instead of the material possessions, as these moments are what you will cherish later on in life.