Connection. During the pandemic, we have lots of family time. But how do we make the most of that time without driving each other crazy? How do we make sure to strengthen the family bond and infuse fun into the dynamic?
For many parents, our typical day is filled with a series of family and work-related commitments relegated into a specific time frame. It can be a juggle at the best of times, making it difficult to prioritize quality time together.
Parenthood, particularly of younger children, can feel busy and frenetic on a daily basis. We live in a normally fast-paced world, one where we tend to keep our eyes on the clock, and constantly struggle to mentally check off items on the ‘to do’ list, while also assembling Lego, rocking the baby, thinking about dinner and organizing a work meeting. Does this sound familiar?
The question is, how do we stay connected with our children and ensure our family needs are being met while also staying sane?
One suggestion is dedicating time once per week for a family night. Children feel special when their parents take the time to do fun activities with them. Studies show that spending meaningful and fun time together as a family has a variety of benefits for all members. Time with our children ensures that we have the opportunity to model our values and behaviour and provide guidance.
As parents we know that connection and spending time together as a family is an important thing to do, however, the real challenge lies in consistently dedicating the time to follow through. Prioritizing a committed time and honouring that family time, with no other distractions, can ultimately lead to positive behaviour in our children, a decrease in stress and an overall stronger family bond.
Here are a few suggestions that are affordable and chock-a-block full of memory making.
1. Family meal time is an opportunity to really check in with one another and share details about things that are important. It’s also a time to make meals together is a simple way to create a meal—not only is it fun, but it’s also a learning experience and extra help.
2. Board games are affordable and fun. From promoting problem solving to critical thinking and learning how to win or lose gracefully, games are a wonderful way to connect and have fun.
3. Physical activity, team sports and outdoor recreation promotes family bonding, enhances communication skills, reduces stress, teaches losing gracefully and celebrating each other winning.
4. Movie Night is a way to make memories and strengthen family traditions. It’s also a perfect time to get in extra cuddles and have a relaxing and quiet time together.
5. Making a family Vision Board creates an emotional connection and clarifies your family goals. Whether it’s daydreaming, small goal planning for something big.
Ultimately family time should be fun and enjoyable and encourage connection and love. Our role is to raise happy and healthy children and to make sure they feel heard and important.