Tuesday November 24, 2020
I know when you try to look back at your childhood and reflect on the positive memories, there are probably a lot of “big events” that stand out: the awesome Christmas when you got the bike you always wanted or the dream vacation you took to the beach or Disney Land. But the real memories of family togetherness most likely come from the daily rituals that you perform routinely with each other. These help you connect and bond with your children and they will last a lifetime.
Here are ideas for creating a family connection:
- Dinner at the table — In this busy, super-connected world we live in, it’s often hard to find time to eat a family meal together. But it is incredibly important. It doesn’t have to be every night of the week, as many of us have really busy schedules and sometimes have to grab a meal when we can. But at least once a week, clear off the dining room table and sit down for a home-cooked meal. You can even provide a ritual or routine by having all of the kids (who are capable) pitching in to help. The older ones can help cook while the younger ones can set the table and clean off the dishes when done. But most importantly, institute a “No Electronic Device” rule at the table. Actually sit and talk about your day and help your kids practice the lost art of conversation.
- Bedtime rituals — An everyday activity that can quickly form family connections is your bedtime rituals. Every night when you get the kids ready for bed, do something with them that they will remember for years to come. Sit down and read to them as they get sleepy. Sing them a soft lullaby or a favorite song. Any of these activities will be cherished ones and years from now, when they hear that song or see that book, they will remember the moment fondly.
- Family movie/game night — Another big event is a regular movie or game night that can forge family bonds. Once a week (usually a Friday or Saturday), order pizza and have everybody join together to watch a classic movie or play a board game. If you want, you can rotate this so a different person picks the movie/game each week. Just like with dinner at the table, institute a no electronic device policy and actually bond with each other. (Bonus points if you make popcorn together…the real kind with actual butter and not the microwave bags.)
Ultimately, it’s up to you to forge these feelings of togetherness that your children will remember. But, if you help to make these bonds, it can become a tradition passed down to your grandchildren and beyond.