In today’s society, we often find ourselves becoming more and more separated from our own family members in our own homes. Our children are spending more time on electronic devices, often alone to entertain themselves. As early as 2-3 years of age, children have their own tablets and can even navigate their parent’s phones and devices without help. Our teenagers take their devices to their rooms, spending hours alone with the door closed.
Let’s get back to “Family Time”. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all set aside one day or evening a week, where we “force” ourselves to come together as a family unit and interact? I like to call it “Forced Family Fun”!
Families are much more than just a group of individuals. They should have their own goals and aspirations. Spending some quality time together once a week should be one of those!
Here are a few ideas, or family ‘rituals’ to consider:
- Family video night. Rent a movie, order in a pizza, make some popcorn.
- Outdoor snow fun. After a big snowfall, everybody tramp outside together and build a snowman or go for a walk. Shoveling together works too!
- Spiritual pursuits. Whether it is attending services or saying grace together at the table, this is a great way to bring families together.
- Looking through old photos or videos of family memories
- Take a car ride together. Anywhere!
- Playing board games. Try cards, dominoes, and so on.
- Collaborate on a household project. Fixing up a spare bedroom or basement, painting, etc.
- Cooking dinner together. Each family member gets to rotate their choice of meal and all participate in the cooking.
- Build a fire at home. Indoors or outdoors, while you share stories.
Living in Buffalo, there are so many fun things we can do! Warm or cold weather!
- The Buffalo Zoo
- Indoor activities such as:
- Billy Beez
- Bounce Magic
- Rolly Pollies
- Visit a local farm, nature preserve or state park
- Canalside fun
- Buffalo Science Center
- Explore and More
- Strong Museum
- Herschell Carrousel Factory
- Watch a local sports team play
- Local college basketball
- NFL or NHL game
- Visit the theater
- See a movie
- Go to a play or musical
Having Forced Family Fun will actually help to improve interfamily relationships and improve communication as well. Here are some important things to remember when building that healthy communication:
- Be a good listener
- Show empathy
- Be a good role model
- Be available
Remember, the memories we make with our family are everlasting!
Dr Rebecca Daniels