This post about family bonding and staying connected as a family is sponsored by KFC but all thoughts are my own…and my kids’.
When I asked my 9 year old son, AJ, what his favorite thing to do as a family at night time when everyone is home, his immediate response was “Jammy baseball!”
Years ago, my husband invented jammy baseball as a way to get the kids to wind down at night (not so sure how his plan worked out…). If nothing else, it was the perfect way to motivate the kids to get dressed and ready for bed. Once the jammies were on and the teeth were brushed, the balls and bats came out!
The family room became a baseball diamond; the couch pillows were placed on the floor as bases. The bat was one of those over-sized plastic toy bats, and the balls were of the Nerf variety.
It certainly worked better when the kids were smaller – now that 3 of my kids are my size, it’s not so easy to run around the family room (the family room isn’t that big!). We may not play jammy baseball very often anymore, but it’s obvious from my 9 year old son’s response today that our silly little game was meaningful and important…and that it created lasting memories and family bonds.
What traditions and habits does your family have to increase family bonding? Here are just a few of our favorite tips for staying connected as a family.
5 Tips to Increase Family Bonding
- Family dinner time – While there might not be a fancy meal on the table every night (who has time for gourmet cooking with all of the hustle and bustle of practices, homework, and work?)eating dinner together every night is one of our most treasured family traditions. The food we eat is much less important than the time we spend together, going over our days, and just being close.
- Once-a-week family night – Another one of our family rituals if family night every Monday. Although we may not do anything special, we know that Mondays are reserved for family. No work, no sports, no distractions. We pull out some of our favorite games most Mondays and have a casual family game night. Family game night i something that we all look forward to – and as a mom, I’m grateful for the chance that it gives my kids to learn how to handle both winning AND losing.
- Read together – I admit…I used to read to my kids a lot more when they were smaller and when picture books were in fashion. Chapter books take more time and attention (and, yes, I’m one of those moms who is guilty of frequently dozing off mid-sentence!) but time spent reading together is perfect bonding time, no matter what the age. I carried over a tradition from my mom…and my kids and I play with each other’s hair while we read. Yes, I’ve even taught my boys to braid mama’s hair!
- Work together – Whether it’s cleaning the house together, working in the garden, washing the car, or serving a neighbor, time spent working as a family increases the family bond like no other activity I’ve found. I’d even add “working the body” to the list of family-approved work. We love taking walks together…and I love having a house full of willing exercise companions. The conversations that ensue when we work side by side is some of the most naturally flowing conversations ever.
- Just talk – Some of our favorite times together as a family are spent lounging around the family room, sprawled on the floor, couch, and chairs. There is no TV on, no games out, no agenda. We just hang out. We talk. We laugh. Sometimes our conversations are deep. Other times, we keep things light. And those are the best times.
Did you know? At KFC right now, you can get a free I Spy game when you buy a 12 piece tender meal or larger with 2 large sides, 4 biscuits and 4 sauces. So KFC helps with two of my family bonding tips: eating a good meal together and having family game night! The I Spy posters give families one more way to engage with each other over dinner. KFC agrees: Game Night should be a weekly thing! I know that one of my daughters who LIVES for fried chicken would go crazy over this deal!
What are your favorite ways to bond with your family? What weekly or daily traditions and rituals do you have that bring you closer together? I’d love to hear your ideas and tips!
© 2014, Food Fun Family. All rights reserved.