Written by Pamela Daniel and published on 05 July 2021.
If stress and daily routines are bogging you down, take a break and spend quality time with family. Here are some easy activities to improve family bonding.
If you were to turn back time, what would be the moment or phase you would love to revisit? Many of us would reminisce about our childhood when there were fewer responsibilities and loads of fun with the family.
The world we live in today is filled with stress and humdrum routines, with children often exposed to violence and bullying. In such times, it is of utmost importance that we encourage communication between our family members to encourage a feeling of belonging.
Family bonds are relationships in which parents are highly aware, attentive, and responsive to their child's physical and emotional needs. When parents gain a deep understanding of their child's moods, behaviors, and actions, they are able to share in their child's joys. They are also able to respond with empathy, understanding, and care in difficult moments. Family bonds are nurtured through daily connections between parent and child where they spend special time playing, talking, and laughing together.
Every family has some characteristics which show family strength. A study conducted by researchers at the Family Action Centre, University of Newcastle identified eight family strength characteristics which included:
Children form an image of their support structure very early on. The reason why many children cry on the first day of school is that they feel their main source of support and comfort is going away. However, parents who spend a lot of quality time with the family observe that the children have an easier time outside the house. They learn from the environment at home and connect with individuals outside based on the values and respect earned at home.
The most important thing to set aside when it comes to family bonding is TIME. That way, all the members in the family would know to respect each others' time as well. Making time means making family relationships a priority. In the world we live today, how do we bond as a family?
Here are 6 easy ways to improve family bonding:
What is your favorite activity/hobby/interest? The more, the better. Set out a day or an evening, when you are able to allow your children to participate in and share your interests. One of my best friends loves soccer and plays soccer every Monday. In the last month, due to a busy schedule at work, he ends up spending less time with his children. In order to enjoy his time with the children without being worn out after a tiring day at work, he started taking his kids to soccer practice every Monday. He mentioned that the fun they have is more than he could have imagined.
Mealtimes are very important for having heart-to-heart discussions. Breakfast is challenging as everyone would not be ready to have an open discussion before rushing to work or school. Dinner time is usually ideal since this is the time when everyone has settled with work or homework and can discuss the events of the day. Ask your child how their day went and share anything interesting that you did.
Set aside one day of the week, where you are entirely devoted, as a family, to a day at the park or any favorite spot. For children, this creates room for excitement and something to look forward to. This also sets in motion their explorative abilities and thinking skills.
Doing the chores in the house is an excellent way to bond together. A family that does chores together stays together! It motivates each other to help out and also work towards one goal - keeping the house clean! Earmark a particular weekend when all the members are at home, to do chores which will encourage interaction. It will be a fun day with the bonus that a lot of work will get done.
At least once a month, cooking a meal together is like setting out on an adventure. This is where healthy family dynamics come in place and will be a fun activity. Give children small duties like mixing, pouring, shelling peas, picking out the leaves, shredding, and so on.
As a child, I would love bedtime. This would mean my mom and dad coming to my room and comforting me to sleep. As I became a teenager, it meant that they would swap open conversations instead of bedtime stories. It was a huge source of comfort for me, especially during adolescence. Many experts suggest that children who show traits of being introverts, usually open up during one-on-one conversations, like bedtime discussions.
Time is limited and it is the most precious gift we can give our families. Family time and family bonding activities are memories that stay etched in children's minds forever.