But it doesn’t have to be all bleak on the family front. Even the simplest things can bring you closer together. All you need is to set aside a little time, flex your creativity, and commit to some family bonding time.
Go on an Adventure
Consider going on an outdoor adventure, like a camping trip. You don’t even have to go far to do it. Pack up a tent, get some easy-to-prepare food ready, and bring your family to camp out in the local park. If there’s no park close by, or if you’re not sure if they allow campers, set up a blanket out in the deck or in your backyard and have a picnic there.
You can even brush up on your science knowledge. Study the different plants, flowers, and animals around the park, or have a “stargazing challenge” and see who can name the most constellations. If all else fails, you can always watch a nature documentary on TV and have a quiz night right after, complete with fun prizes.
Use Technology Wisely
We all have to accept that we can’t always be together as a family. But with the fast-paced evolution of technology, we can stay connected 24/7. Through a mobile group communication application, you can keep the members of your family updated on where you are and what you’re doing, anytime, anywhere.
But why limit it to checking in with your parents or kids? Make it a more interactive group. Send links to articles or social media posts about your child’s favorite computer game. Want to try a new recipe with mom? Send over the list of ingredients and procedure and whip it up over the weekend.
For the neat freaks who want all things organized, you can even have separate groups for different subjects – family night out ideas, games and movies, food, funny memes, and more. Technology doesn’t have to be the bad guy!
Cook (and Eat) Together
Meal times can be a wonderful opportunity to reconnect and have a lighthearted chat with the family. But cooking can be an even greater chance to bond! It can be a learning experience for all members of the family, too. For those with younger kids, you can practice some math and chemistry, while teens can be more adventurous and have a “who can dice potatoes faster” challenge with mom or dad.
You’ll feel a greater sense of fulfillment once the food’s all done, because you can see the result of your group effort. While eating, you can discuss the next recipes you can work on and plan on the next kitchen adventure.
Friday Night Specials
Allocate one day or night (it doesn’t have to be a Friday!) where all family members MUST be together and do something for fun. It doesn’t matter what the activity is, as long as everyone agrees to try it out and enjoy. Going out to the movies, checking out the newest restaurant in town, or staying in and playing video games – everything’s fair game.
You can even have a checklist of activities that you want to try next. Get suggestions from all members of the family. The one who makes the suggestion can be the next “leader” and ensure that the rest gets to know more about the activity and why he or she chose it.
The modern world can become a hindrance to family bonding, but you can also make it work for you. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or complicated. Sometimes, even the simplest, most obvious activities and things can be a great source of learning and enjoyment for everyone in the family.