Ways to Bring Your Family Together in 2017
Whether 2016 was a positive experience for you or the absolute mess that everyone is saying it was, there’s no doubt that you’ll want to continue to build on the quality of your family life in 2017. In today’s fast paced, media dominated world, it can be a real challenge to find time to spend with your family, but make this year the year that you commit to bringing your family closer together.
If you have a demanding job or family members who seem far more interested in their phones than in spending time with you, the prospect of spending quality time together might seem a long way off. The important thing to remember is that there is no definitive idea of a perfect way to spend time with your family; you have to figure out what works for you. Every family is different, so whether you’re camping in the woods, cooking a meal or watching Netflix together, you’re bound to find something that will bring you closer together.
In times gone by, families eating together was linked, at least ideologically, with more harmonious and happy relationships. It’s safe to say that many of us have given up on the idea of eating dinner together every night, but this doesn’t mean that we should forget about food altogether. You might work irregular hours or not be able to make it home for dinner on weekdays, but you can still find one meal every week to cook and eat together, as a family.
The cooking is just as important as the eating here, as it truly is an activity that you can do together and really take your time over. Cooking is also a vital skill for children to learn, as children who are able to cook are more likely to eat healthily. If you’re stuck for ideas, try a simple pancake recipe, perfect for a Sunday morning, or some recipes specially designed for children. Once you get over the initial anxiety of letting your five year old loose with a whisk, you’ll be surprised at just how much you’ll get out of cooking as a family.
Now, not every family is going to go for a run together or head down to the gym together, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy exercising together. Ever been for a walk with your family? Then you’ve exercised together. See, not as impossible as it sounds. The main reason that exercising with your family can make you feel closer is because physical activity causes chemicals to be released in the brain which make you feel happy, and so when you exercise with other people you will associate that happy feeling with them.
The approach you take to this is entirely up to you; you might decide to take a weekly walk in the park together, go on a bike ride or simply dance around your living room. You could even invest in a Wii Fit and combine your exercise with some computer gaming. All of these things will help you feel closer as a family and create plenty of priceless memories.
As adults, we can find it difficult to tap into our playful side, especially during the working week. When we come home after a stressful day, the last thing we feel like doing is joining in with an energetic child’s game, but this could actually be exactly what we need to feel better. Play is seriously downplayed in our culture, and is often viewed as a waste of time because it isn’t physically productive and doesn’t count as ‘work’. However, playing games with your family could be a fantastic opportunity to have fun together and relax after a long day.
If you have very young children, the chances are that they are always asking you to play with them, so see what happens if you accept their invitation. Whether it’s Lego, dressing up or role play, you’ll learn a lot about your children from regularly playing with them. You could also embrace technology and play some computer games designed for families, which will take the fun to a whole new level.
Although it might be tempting, try not to ban phones or other screens during your family time. Enforcing rules such as this will only make your time together feel like a chore, when it should be fun. Chastising family members for checking their phones or sending a text won’t help to bring you together, so try to take a relaxed approach to this and accept that it is now an unavoidable fact of life.
This is a collaborative post