Family Bonding

  1. The good and the bad. How was school? Good.Sound familiar? They’re growing up and it’s hard to pry information out of them about their day… especially when you go about it with a question like that (no offense). Try going about it in a different way. Ask them to share one good and one bad thing that happened throughout their day. Share and exchange stories. This will allow them to open up and connect with you… and hey! Maybe you’ll even have some expert personal advice in your back pocket from grade school.

  2. And tonight, the kids cook! Once they hit the appropriate age where you trust them with the stove and a spatula, decide on one night of the week where they cook dinner. Not only will this give you the chance to kick your feet up while they slave away in the kitchen, but they’ll start learning at a young age. Preparing a delicious meal is a quality everyone loves, why not get a head start? Good luck ;)

  3. One on one. How are you supposed to get to know your children if you do not treat them as individuals? Yes, they may have siblings to interact with but parent bonding is important to them too. Set aside time to do an activity of their choice on your own with each child. They’ll appreciate this time together more than you think.

  4. Share a “joke of the day”. Who doesn’t love a good knock-knock joke? And from sending them to a school full of children all day, there’s a big chance they’ll come home with a few up their sleeve. The dinner table may not be the ideal time, but find time to make each other laugh before bed time.

  5. Family nights. Decide on a night you can declare “family night” that works with everyone’s schedule. At the beginning of the week, discuss an activity that the children are dying to do and plan a reasonable game plan. Movies, bowling, pizza and the arcade, etc. This will motivate the children to behave and help out around the house in order to participate in all the fun.

  6. Family traditions. Even as an adult, people hold onto and pass on a variety of family traditions. Holiday traditions, silly sayings, even the bar of the soap in your mouth. These are precious memories that remind us of our roots, and are ultimately irreplaceable.

  7. In print. That’s a phrase you don’t hear too often. With everything around us revolving around technology these days, it is sad to say all of these memories are digitally stored. But what is the good in that? Yes, they can’t be lost… but they also can’t be seen (hidden in folders on your desktop). Make it a point to print out the occasional picture for your children. If they are visual, creative children, maybe they will find scrapbooking a fun idea. Either way, waking up to a framed picture on your nightstand, of the ones who love you, is never a bad idea.

  8.  Explore new things... As a family! Discovering new things with each other will contribute to the family bonding and better your relationships. Even something as inexpensive as hiking will open up their eyes to something new. And the fresh air won’t kill you ;)

  9. Eat together as a family. Family dinners are the ideal scenario, but we all know life gets in the way. Between jobs, chorus concerts, and after school sports, it may not always be the best time. Give breakfast a try! Eating a meal together at least twice a week will draw the family in as one, connecting and grounding you as a family in between all of the chaos, even if it is for just a short about of time.

  10. Don’t forget to be thankful. In pictures and movies, families may seem picture perfect, but in reality; the ups and downs are inevitable. With every complaint that pops into your head (child or parent perspective), accompany the negative with something you are thankful for. The list is endless, yet unfortunately, we tend to forget. Sure… your son’s room is constantly cluttered but look at the bright side! He’s involved and passionate about a handful of hobbies.

by Stephanie Falcone