Are you looking for simple yet meaningful activities to do with your family? If you have a busy schedule but you still want to keep that close relationship with your family, this guide is definitely for you!
The attempt to balance work and life in today’s society is becoming more challenging. Even for families who live together, personal interaction is often hindered by online meetings, online classes, or simply just online browsing through social media platforms. The truth behind the famous quote, “so close yet so far”, is now more pronounced than ever, especially for social interactions.
Benefits of family time
If you have a young family, one of the most important habits you should develop at home is to bond with the people you value the most. Building a strong social connection with your partner and your children offers various health and psychological benefits. In a report from The Journal of Social Health and Behavior, researchers from the University of Texas found consistent and compelling evidence that the quality of one’s social ties affect various health problems like cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases.
More importantly, a healthy family environment at home plays a vital role in your child’s development. The more that your child feels your presence and support through your family time together, the more that he or she develops mental resiliency. It is also worth noting that children who experience stable and encouraging family relationships grow up as responsible adults.
The simple conversations that families share around the dining table provide great opportunities for family members to keep in touch with each other. Before work or classes begin in the morning, you can invite the whole family for breakfast together. If everyone wakes up at different times, then maybe you can eat lunch or dinner together.
If you might ask, what is the main rule that you should have during mealtime? There must be no gadgets. Ensure that everyone’s full attention is within the dining table. In no time, conversations will flow effortlessly.
To increase the probability of gathering everyone around the dining table, you may consider cooking the favorite food of your family. This works for parents with younger children. And speaking of younger children, a study shows that having regular family meals together impacts a child’s psychosocial development positively.
Helping each other with chores
A more practical way to spend time with your family may include doing household chores together. This is a great opportunity to teach your children that everyone is responsible for keeping the house clean and tidy. You can go about this activity in different ways. You can divide the family members into pairs or dyads and assign them a specific chore. For example, a family of four can have mom and dad in separate pairs so they can bond more intimately with each child. Then the pairings can rotate the next time the family does chores. Doing this will help each member of your family to create deeper bonds with each other.
If you have a smaller family, you can work side by side with your partner as your child helps out in simple ways. You may also check out the ways on how you can start reinforcing your kids to help at home.
Supporting your child’s interests
Supporting your child’s interests is also a great way to bond as a family. By doing this, you allow your child to feel comfortable talking to you about what excites or frustrates them. Take note though, that you are there to support your child. Keep an open mind about the things they like to do. Who knows, you might even learn something new!
An example of bonding activities that consider your child’s interests is playing games with him or her. You can play house, assemble Lego blocks together, or solve puzzles together. For older children, it can be through watching their favorite anime or cartoon with them. And don’t forget the snacks! A healthy and delicious snack will make the ambiance even better.
One of the classics in terms of bonding activities is having movie nights as a family. This can be scheduled during weekends when everyone has a lighter schedule. You can pick a movie as a family or have your kids decide. Just make sure that it is suitable for all audiences, regardless of age. You can find a list of the best family movies here.
You can even have a mini session after the movie where each member of the family shares what he or she learned. It will be good practice for your children to understand stories and spot moral lessons.
If your house has an open space that is wide enough to play sports, then you can have a more active bonding activity with your family. If you live in a condo, check if its amenities include open parks or sports gyms. Playing indoor or outdoor sports is a good way to teach teamwork and healthy competition among family members.
As a form of physical activity, playing sports promises a lot of physical and mental health benefits. This kind of bonding activity is also relevant especially that work and classes are done online with minimal physical movements.
Not urgent but extremely important
Spending quality time with your family is not urgent but is extremely important. The earlier you set up regular bonding activities, the more beneficial will it be for you and your children’s social life. With the pandemic restrictions limiting the opportunities for people to connect socially, families are encouraged to be more present for each other.
There will be challenges along the way as your family gets busier with work and other commitments. It is up to you to decide what kinds of commitments are worth your time. The bonds that you create with the people you love deepen over time. As long as you can consistently show up, each bonding activity will impact your family relationships in ways you did not even imagine.
Duncan, A. (2011). 10 Things to Do for Slowing Down and Savor Time With Your Family. Retrieved November 10, 2021, from Verywell Family website: https://www.verywellfamily.com/things-to-do-bring-family-together-3129447
McClure, R. (2021). How to Create Quality Time With Your Family. Retrieved November 10, 2021, from Verywell Family website: https://www.verywellfamily.com/finding-quality-family-time-616982#citation-4