Families that spend time together develop deeper bonds and appreciate healthier relationships throughout parents’ and children’s lives.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult for parents to find as much time as they would like to spend with their children each day.
Instead of assuming that means there’s nothing to be done about the problem, parents can read on to find out how to make the time they have to spend with their children more meaningful.
Parents with multiple children or families living in multi-generational households sometimes struggle to find activities that everyone will like, and the more people are involved, the harder it is to fit activities into busy schedules. That said, it’s important for everyone to feel involved.
Try to find a day that everyone is off from work or school to engage in activities together as a family.
If it’s difficult to get the whole family motivated and feeling like a vital part of the experience, switch things up each week and allow kids and other adults in the house to pick activities that they think everyone will like.
Some families like to designate specific “family holidays” and create their own traditions around them, just like with traditional holidays. Others plan vacations to the same place every year.
Parents can create a new family tradition by taking their kids to stay at the Sanctuary Treehouse Resort. The best part about the experience is that it’s not just for younger kids. As children get older and enter adolescence, they’ll still have plenty to look forward to.
Cook and Eat Together
Research shows that kids who routinely eat dinner with their families are healthier and less likely to develop obesity. They also perform better at school and tend to have more impressive interpersonal skills at younger ages.
This data may seem unusual, but it’s all about conversation and connection. Eating dinner together offers opportunities to share a piece of life, with parents getting the chance to ask their children about their days and kids getting to see healthy communication modeled for them right at home.
Parents who want to take things one step further can try cooking together with their families. Try starting with just one family meal night per week, and get everyone involved.
Brainstorm recipes to try out, and give each kid an age-appropriate task. When families get the chance to learn and create together before enjoying delicious meals, it makes those shared moments even more memorable.
Get Out in Nature
There’s a special kind of connection that people form with each other when they share an appreciation of the natural world. Most of that connection can likely be traced to the mental and emotional health benefits of spending time in nature.
When parents leave behind their work-related stress, teenagers feel more relaxed, and younger kids get the chance to run around and explore with their siblings. Everyone will enjoy a more memorable experience.
Some families like to plan camping trips together, but there’s no need to rough it to take full advantage of the benefits of time spent in nature.
Try planning a vacation to someplace in a more natural setting, heading out of town for a hike or even sharing a picnic in a secluded area of an urban park. As long as everyone gets to hear the birds, see the sky, and breathe in the fresh air, the experience will almost certainly be enjoyable and memorable.
Start a Book Club
Families with children of similar ages can encourage both a love of learning and increased feelings of connectedness by starting up a “book club.” Each month, someone different can pick the book. If kids are too young to read, they may still be able to listen to the stories and find ways to participate.
Try to think of questions that will facilitate discussion. There’s no such thing as a book that doesn’t offer opportunities for learning and conversation.
Each month, the child or adult who chooses the book can be encouraged to lead the conversation. Once the book club gets off the ground, think about inviting other family members to participate, such as aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Family art projects can make for meaningful moments not just because creating art together helps people feel more connected and present but also because it will leave everyone with a beautiful final product to look at and share.
There’s no need for everyone in the family to be an artistic genius. Non-artistic parents can try to think of simple, age-appropriate projects like tracing and coloring for small kids or creating family scrapbooks out of photos and mementos as children get older.
Displaying the collective artwork is one of the keys to success when it comes to creating more meaningful moments.
Whether that means devoting days, weeks, or longer to painting intricate murals on playroom walls or simply framing smaller artwork and hanging it in the family room is up to the parents to decide.
Plan a Family Photo Shoot
Planning a family photo shoot is another great way to create and preserve memorable moments. Some more formal families like to schedule portrait sessions at local studios, but it can be even more beneficial to schedule lifestyle shoots with local photographers.
Try to pick a spot in the neighborhood that everyone loves, and be sure to pick a photographer that has plenty of experience working with kids. Capturing those candid smiles can be tough otherwise.
Don’t Give Up
Parents who find it difficult to get their kids excited about and involved with spending quality time together as a family shouldn’t give up and just go back to watching TV. Keep lines of communication open with kids of all ages about activities they might enjoy, and be patient with family members who are hesitant to try new things.
Maintain a positive attitude, and get everyone as involved as they’re willing to be. Eventually, more introverted family members will also find opportunities to let their personalities shine.