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Between work, school, errands, and extracurricular activities, family life can be a whirlwind. Spending time to reconnect with your loved ones can help you enjoy a more meaningful and deeper relationship with your family. Here are six tips to help you strengthen your family's bond.
1. Open communication channels.
One of the most important aspects of bonding as a family is communication. Establish regular times when family members put away their electronics and talk about their days. Practice active listening techniques so that everyone knows they are heard and valued. These active listening techniques include asking follow-up questions, giving the speaker your full attention, and waiting until the other person has finished speaking before giving your thoughts or advice.
2. Set aside time for family dinners.
Although coordinating multiple busy schedules can be a challenge, setting aside time for family meals is an important part of staying close. Although dinner is the traditional time to enjoy a meal as a family, you could also plan special family breakfasts and lunches if that works better for your situation. One way to liven up a family dinner is to explore a theme. For example, you might plan a meal around a book or movie that is a family favorite. You could dream up dishes that the characters might eat, and even wear costumes.
3. Explore your community.
One fun idea for spending time with your family is to explore your community and take advantage of its hidden gems. Be a tourist in your own town and visit museums, recreation centers, and historical sites. Check out a community calendar and see what cultural events are happening near you. Your family might enjoy concerts in the park, community bike rides, farmers markets, and other special events. You will grow closer as a family and make memories at the same time.
4. Throw a costume party.
Family time can include friends as well as family, and socializing as a family can strengthen community connections as well as interpersonal ones. Consider hosting a costume party for your friends and family of all ages. Dressing in matching Alice in Wonderland Costumes, for example, can be a fun way to express your family's creative side. You can delight your children and your inner child by dressing as your favorite fairy tale characters. After the party, your children can continue using the costumes for dress-up play and other imaginative adventures.
5. Enjoy outdoor activities together.
Spending time in nature nourishes your body and spirit. When the whole family participates in outdoor activities together, your health and relationships will flourish. Even young children can enjoy outdoor activities such as walking or visiting the park. If you have older children, you might try more athletic activities, like playing a game of tennis together. Some families even enjoy running races or competing in other sporting events as a team, but whether you play in your own backyard or run a marathon, having fun should always be the goal.
6. Schedule chores for the entire family.
Although at first, it may not seem as much fun, planning to do your chores with the entire family really goes a long way in terms of strengthening these interpersonal bonds. Make sure that everyone gets a task around the house or in the backyard—ideally at the same time. Brothers and sisters can set aside their differences while sweeping the home together, moms and daughters can catch up while dusting the living room, while fathers and sons will also take the leaf blowing session as an opportunity to chat and have fun.
These six suggestions are just the beginning of ideas for family fun. Make sure you ask your family members to contribute their own suggestions as well. Families that play together, stay together. Bonding should always be enjoyable and not a chore. Find frequent opportunities to reconnect as a family so that your relationships can flourish and your home can be filled with joy.