Friday, May 2, 2008

Family Friday, A Family That Plays Together Stays Together!

One thing I am passionate about is the family. In the fast paced world we live in so many have lost sight of how important family is in our lives. We are so caught up in our daily grind that we don't take time for proper family bonding. Long gone are family dinners around the table talking and sharing about each others day, playing games,etc...

Now days is it very plain to see that family bonding has gone to the whey side. Family bonding is many things in one. Not only does it create memories for your kids to cherish, but it is also a time of learning. Back in the day when parents spent quality time with their kids it was rare to find kids that weren't respectful and caring.

Life is to short and the world is to crazy to put your family on the back burner! As parent we all know how fast the time flies, one minute your are bringing them home from the hospital and the next they are graduating college. Make the most of the short time you have them all to yourself. Take time to teach them, enjoy them, and create memories with them that will last a lifetime.

Although I do have fond memories of my childhood and I had wonderful loving nurturing parents, we did not do alot to create wonderful memories. My mom was not a big picture taker, we did not take family vacations, we just lived our life. Now that my parents have passed I do not have a lot of memories to hash over in my mind to remember happy times.

So when I became a parent that was something that I really wanted to change for my kids. So I am going to start "Family Friday! The Family That Plays Together Stays Together!"

Each Friday I will be bringing you tips and ideas to help you create a stronger family unit and hopefully create some great memories as well.

I will also highlight other bloggers who have a post on their blog each Friday. So if you want to participate, simply comment below and I will find you and highlight your post in that week's Family Friday. I will be working this week on a image for Family Friday's that I will have if you would like to participate weekly with me.

So with all that said. Here is our first Family Friday! I hope you enjoy. With summer coming on I thought this was a excellent article to kick off summer and Family Friday.

Making Family Memories

Ten ways to reconnect with your school age children before the school year begins

By Harriet Meyerson

“How could the summer have gone so fast,” you may be wondering, “I haven't even had time to do anything special with my kids. They're growing up so fast, I hardly know them.” Wake up! The end of the summer is almost here, and school is just around the corner for your children, with homework, sports, youth groups, and many other time consuming activities stealing their time from family togetherness.

Spending Too Little Time

Many parents, trying to juggle work, housekeeping, and their own personal lives feel guilty that they don't spend enough time with their kids. Children grow up so fast that parents can easily miss the joys of really connecting with them. Even more important, children need to feel that their parents are approachable when they face peer pressure and have to make difficult choices. While it's true that peer pressure from your children's friends is very powerful, loving parents who take the time to stay connected with their children can exert a powerful influence and make all the difference.

How to Reconnect

So what can you do that will help you reconnect with your children? Having fun together breaks down barriers and strengthens the bond between parents and children. Here are some end of the summer activities to create those important connections as well as fond memories. You might want to have a camera handy to capture some of these precious moments.

1. Picnic in the country and stargazing.

Drive out to a park in the country away from the city lights. Take a large blanket, mosquito repellent and flashlights. As you and your children gather together on a blanket in the country and gaze at the stars, the things that are really important in life come into perspective.

Discuss nature's built-in intelligence in plants and animals as well as the earth, moon, and stars. Relate that to the intelligence your children have within them to do well at school.

2. Proclaim a "Goofy Day"

Everybody needs to act silly and let off some steam once in a while. Here's an activity that you might even want to videotape. Everyone in your family dresses goofy, does goofy things, and eats goofy food. Discuss how there are times and places that it is appropriate to be goofy, and relate this to behavior at school.

3. Creative story time

Sit in a circle with your family. You start the first story. Then each person adds a few sentences using their imagination to take the story wherever they want it to go. Keep going around the circle until one person decides to end the story. Then the next person starts a new story. Creative snacks will help spark the imagination. Discuss how we create our own life stories with the actions we take every day.

4. Family slumber party

Remember when you were a kid and went to slumber parties. Well, why should you be left out of the fun just because you're an adult? This slumber party is for parents and their children - no friends invited. Everybody takes their bedding and sleeps on the floor in the living room.

Here are three things to do at your slumber party. • Story telling - talk about the old days when you were young, or have everybody take turns talking about their favorite family vacation. • Sing favorite songs - everyone has a chance to choose a song for the whole family to sing. • Summer vacation memories - everyone takes turns talking about what they liked best about the summer. Your children may be asked this very question the first day back at school, anyway, so this will help prepare them. Great snacks that aren't too messy will combine to make this a memorable time.

5. Planning session

For starters, have your husband and children help you bake some delicious chocolate chip cookies. The cookies, together with milk and ice cream will be their post-planning session treat.

During the planning session ask each family member what is important to him or her. Then discuss chores, homework time, TV limitations, bedtime, after school activities, allowance, etc. Get everyone's agreement on the rules, and post the rules on a bulletin board or refrigerator for everyone to see. Written rules have more impact. Agree to meet again a week after school starts to see if some adjustments need to be made. You might want to have a weekly or monthly family planning session. Of course, more cookies will have to be baked.

6. Family softball game

This is great family fun for all ages. Use a plastic bat and ball if you have younger children. Your family is obviously too small to have two teams, so create your own softball rules. You can follow up with a backyard barbeque.

7. Gratitude Party

In our materialistic world your children may want the things that other children have. If you only tell your children that they can't have everything, they may feel angry and deprived. When you teach your children to be grateful for what they already have their attitude will change from one of entitlement and anger to one of appreciation and happiness.

Sit down with your family, and together write a list of at least 100 things you can be grateful for. You may have to walk around the house to notice many of the things you have. Post your family gratitude list where everyone can see it. Discuss jealousy of others and appreciating the many things we have. End by asking each person in the family to create their own prayer of thankfulness.

8. Family jig saw puzzle

You can choose a puzzle with 100 pieces if you want to get done in an afternoon, or a larger one, and work on it for a week. You will need a large table and special glue for jug saw puzzles available at craft stores. You can then frame your puzzle and hang it in a place of honor. Discuss teamwork and patience.

9. Family game night

Board games are not only fun; you can also learn a lot about your children from the way they play board games. You can play Monopoly with children and watch the way they negotiate properties. You can see how competitive they are and if they are good sports. Discuss the importance of having fun and good sportsmanship.

10. One-on-one special times.

Each child needs and deserves to feel special to his or her parents. This can be accomplished when each parent has a special, one on one, time with each child. For example Sunday afternoons can be the time that you block out for your special times. Then rotate this time between your children. Both you and your child plan what you are going to do ahead of time so you can both look forward to your special time together. You'll get to know each child better and your children will love doing something special with Mom or Dad.

Now that you are ready to reconnect with your children before the hectic school year begins, remember, just as a flower needs water more than once, your children need these types of activities frequently to feel connected to you. Take time out during the school year as well, and continue to create warm and bonding family memories.

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Melinda Zook said...

Awesome, awesome ideas here. I love the slumber party and goofy day ideas and especially the gratitude party very important! Thanks!

Tidbits Of Tammy said...

I really thought these were some great ways to bond with your kids as well. Thanks for stopping by to comment.