In our busy schedules it is important to build family relationships by creating some connecting time with the members of our family to bond, talk, and learn about each other. Families that spend quality time together build a strong resiliency for the hard times, and lower the rates of teenage drug and alcohol use in their families. Here are some tips for creating quality family time.
1. Have a set time when everyone gathers together. Dinner time is often the best time for a family connecting time, because it is at the end of school and work obligations. Sitting together for family dinners also insures that your family is getting a nutritious healthy meal at least once during the day. But anytime that works best for your family is the right time for you. Breakfast, lunch, or night time snack are also good times for having a family gathering. Having the gathering around a meal is a good enticer for people to come and stay awhile.
2. Create a family ritual. Repeating a specific event or activity helps to reinforce the family gathering. Creating a family ritual could be as simple as eating together, saying a prayer together, or having everyone describe their day in a couple of words.
3. Share interesting conversation. Skip the usual questions of “How was your day?” or “What are you doing in school?” to topics of current events and thought provoking questions. In my family, Sunday dinners were a time when we would discuss current events and things we learned in church. It was a great opportunity to learn, discuss, and enjoy each other’s company, and something I looked forward to attending.
4. Make it fun. Some days everyone needs a chance to lighten up and laugh a little. Ask silly thought provoking questions. Have theme meals, “Tuesday Tacos”, green dinner for St Patrick’s day, or a mixed up dinner where you start with dessert. Being creative, especially with small children, will make the family gathering more memorable, and more desirable for them to want to return tomorrow.
– Carolyn Flynn
Flickr photo by goosmurf/Yun Huang Yong
I want to hear from you. Share how you have created family connecting time in the comments below.