We all know how it goes: you get caught up in survival mode and the cycle of the busy work week, and another year has passed by in a blink of an eye. Spending quality time together helps family members to build secure relationships and to support each other. However, it can be a struggle to prioritize family time with all our daily commitments. As the holiday season rolls around, here are some ways to put the focus back on spending time together as a family.
Whether we have been working and studying from home or going to the physical office and school, chances are that we have been spending the majority of our time indoors. Mobile devices are great for staying in touch with friends but can be an alienating distraction from your family members. Heading out into the great outdoors with your family is a wonderful way to give your mobile devices a rest and be present in your experience together.
Families with older children can take a hike into the hills or take the weekend off and go camping. Not only does nature give us breathtaking scenic beauty, but it also literally provides a life-giving breath of fresh air that can help family members relieve stress and feel rejuvenated. Thankfully, not all camping needs to be rugged and basic. Families can rent cabins or ‘glamping’ tents to enjoy the simplicity of camping while maintaining desirable amenities such as hot showers.
If your children are too young for camping, families can still revel in the relaxing effects of nature by planning short activities such as a picnic or an outdoor scavenger hunt. Pack some sandwiches and a large blanket and any beach or park can become an exciting new place to dine. Why not let the kids choose which way to drive and see where you end up? You may discover a secret spot that is exclusive to your family.
Should the weather outside be frightful and the fire so delightful, then there are also plenty of reasons to stay in with your family. Sometimes, shared downtime is just as important as partaking in an activity. A family can bond even if everyone spends the day watching movies on the couch in their pajamas and eating popcorn and pizza. In fact, why not build a blanket or pillow fort in the family room together for the most comfortable chill-out experience?
Games are another great way to get family members to put down their mobile devices and start communicating with each other. Time-honored games like charades and twenty questions require practically no preparation and are fantastic for bigger groups. Engaging card games such as Uno and Phase 10 can be played with as little as two people and have rules that are easy for children to understand.
Families with older kids and teenagers may even like to break out the video games and make console gaming a family affair. Video games may have had a bad reputation in the past, but they are now an inevitable part of modern childhood. These days, there are many fun and family-friendly video games such as Mario Kart that can be enjoyed by a wide range of ages. Playing games on the Wii console can also get old and young bones moving during the cold winter months.
Do the Chores
With everybody in the family having their own commitments, general household chores may seem to vacuum up a huge chunk of your family’s time. By getting every member of the household to pitch in with the chores, a family can spend quality time together while learning to support each other and work as a team. Young children can help to set the table or feed the pets while older kids can put out the bins or rake the yard. Folding the laundry or cleaning out the garage are activities that all members can do together.
Of all the household chores available, helping to prepare food is probably the favorite of children. While younger kids should not be using hot stoves and the like, they can still take part in the cooking process by helping to make pancake batter or cutting out cookies. While it is likely that the kitchen would end up becoming very messy, there is a large chance that the family would have a lot of fun during the process as well!
Decorating the house together is another great way for families to foster their relationships, with Halloween and Christmas being popular times to doll up the house. In addition, turning your family photographs or children’s artwork into unique home décor items can help to preserve memories. You can also put up a family tree with the assistance of your extended family and help your kids connect with their relatives that are further afield.
Time flies and your children will be adults before you know it. By making the most of your time together, you build strong relationships with each other and create memories that can be cherished for years into the future.