When it comes to building great family relationships, there are a number of different factors that come into play. Sometimes your ability to create great, fun memories is dependent on doing the work first of establishing healthy boundaries and disciplines around some not-so-fun areas. Here are 5 great ways to build strong family relationships and have some fun doing it.
Game Nights to Laugh and Learn
Play time is hugely important in all our relationships. From the office to the living room to the bedroom, good relationships are hugely dependent on taking the time to cut loose and have fun together. Of course, there always has to be balance, but when everything becomes work, work, work or super serious, it might be time to let your hair down and have some fun.
Sometimes, the most important time to have a good time is right in the middle of a stressful time or event.
Not only does play time build better bonds, but it can also be educational as well. Trivia games can help kids learn while having fun and creative games like charades or Pictionary can help boost creativity.
Games like Monopoly and Life can also be a great opportunity to learn math or money management skills without it being a boring lesson.
Sometimes, the best lessons are those you aren’t even aware you are learning.
Or, like Mary Poppins used to say: sometimes a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!
Family Workouts for Stronger Bodies and Bonds
While board games and games nights can be a great way to bond with your kids, you also don’t want to always sit or stay in.
Spending time outdoors or engaging in more active activities can be great for both you and them. Whether it’s doing a workout routine together, hiking, biking or swimming, being active together helps you both have fun together and instill healthy habits in your kids.
With childhood obesity rates on the rise, and computer games and other sedentary activities more prevalent than ever, there’s probably never been a time when it is more important to get out and get active with your kids.
Getting active doesn’t always have to be a planned activity either. Just taking a break and dancing together like the Burns family can be a great family bonding experience that can even create lifelong memories!
Family Meetings for Goal Setting
Having fun together is great, but like the rest of life, it has to be supported by healthy disciplines. Making and working together to meet family goals can help you bond in ways that make the fun times all the sweeter.
For instance, you may choose a family vacation you want to take and then set a financial goal for each member of the family to contribute. Younger children may raise their own “fun money” while teens could raise and save a portion of their own travel expenses.
When you take your family vacation together, it may become all that much more memorable for everyone that has contributed to making it happen.
Family meetings don’t have to be a long, drawn-out affair and they can even be fun. Making Pizza Fridays or Taco Tuesdays a standing tradition can be a great way to get the family together to talk about the things that are important. You might be surprised at how much your kids enjoy and look forward to the family time, so don’t skip it or miss it without a good reason. If you skip a family night or family time, be sure to at least touch base and try to schedule it for a different time.
Family Saving for Happier Future
Money is one of the leading issues couples fight about. As the old saying goes, “opposites attract” and this often applies to how individuals within a couple view money. Some are spenders, some are savers. These differing viewpoints are often what create the most chaos and conflict in relationships and family dynamics.
Anything parents fight about affects the whole family. In reality, however, it’s not just money itself that couples disagree on, but rather issues and attitudes related to saving and spending.
Working together to set family goals and decide how to save, live and spend as a family can not only help calm some chaos but can help kids to develop healthy habits around saving and spending.
Finances can cause a lot of stress, and make people become alienated, but your kids will feel more loved and confident if you include them in such an important matter.
Unique Details for Special Memories
Being a part of a family is like being a part of a super-special club. You have your own inside jokes, your own language, your own shared history together. You can capitalize on this by making it a point to create even more of these special details that set you apart from everyone else.
Whether it’s a super-secret handshake that only you know, a pet name you only use in private or even a special tradition like having cake for breakfast once a month, you can create special bonds by creating your own unique traditions.
These traditions create not only a stronger bond with your immediate family but can create a special bond between generations. Even chimpanzees understand this-they pass down secret handshakes from generation to generation.
Great family relationships don’t just happen by living in the same house together, they take some focused effort and concentrated work. All that work and effort, however, can pay off in spades in the long run.
Remember, you are not just raising children; you are also raising the parents of your grandchildren.
How do you create special bonds in your family?