It is pretty much accepted that we could all do with spending more time with our families. Quality time, that is – not just sat around in front of the TV late at night, squabbling over what movie to watch before you all just go to bed anyway! Many families spend little to no time together as a unit, and in some cases, it’s easy to see why. Work, social commitments and the running of a household can all mean that the last thing we want to do when we get a spare hour is to organize a big family occasion. However, this lack of communication between families is becoming a real problem in our society and means that many family members operate as single units rather than as one collective entity. So, if this sounds a bit like your household, just how can you persuade everyone to spend a bit more time together?
Make time for each other
Family relationships can often get crushed under the daily stress of life, meaning that many of us end up living more like housemates rather than people who share the last name. It might sound a little cringe-worthy, but dedicate at least one night (or afternoon) a week to ‘family time.’ It doesn’t need to be formal – it could even be watching a movie together, providing you ensure that the squabbles are kept to a minimum. Ideally, however, you could agree to eat dinner as a family at least once a week. This is something that used to be commonplace in every family home, but it has died out somewhat in recent years. Try bringing it back – you will notice how good it feels to catch up with each other, even for one night a week.
Think of fun things to do
Being confined to the house can often be what causes strained family relations, and the kind of ‘cabin fever’ associated with people who stay indoors for too long. Make a conscious effort to get out of the house with your partner and kids every so often. It doesn’t need to cost a fortune either, especially if you look out for competitions and deals. For example, you could enter to win a PF Changs gift card. Even something like a meal out will be a welcome treat for everyone and gives you all a chance to socialize outside of your four walls.
Make sure everyone’s voice is heard
Getting all your kids in one place can be hard enough, but encouraging them to get involved in family bonding time is another issue completely. For example, if you give all your attention during family time to the youngest sibling, your older children will soon become disinterested and bored. Inevitably, they will start to avoid family occasions, especially if they are a teenager and have the ability to go out on their own. Try and find something to do that everyone will like, no matter the age difference, and divide your attention equally between all members of the family.