We don’t want to keep “harping” on and on about the pandemic, but if it’s one thing that the state of the globe has taught us, it is that the ties that bind us to those who are the most important to us, are eternal. Your family is your main squeeze, your go to!
It has also taught us that these bonds don’t necessarily just happen, and if you are a family that was caught up in a significant lockdown and had to spend days and weeks with each other, you’ll know that that love, while automatic, doesn’t always feel that way.
But when all is said and done, our family provides us a sense of direction, purpose, and a sense of belonging, but it is also a unit that we tend to take a little too much for granted. So we’re going to hook you up with four ways that you can rediscover the joy of being in your family.
TALK IT OUT WITH YOUR FAMILY
We get so caught up in day-to-day living that our conversations tend to center around experiential discussions and conversations about activities, planning, or schoolwork. We’ve discovered, though, that to reconnect with your family, turn back time. In other words, turn off the T.V. at dinner time, sit around a table, and absolutely no devices allowed. If this is the only time you have for each other every day, make it quality time: good food, good conversation, and good time spent in gratitude. Don’t use this time for reprimanding or for discussing “the elephant in the room.” The space around your dinner table should be made sacred, safe, and memorable.
BEDTIME STORIES FOR THE KIDS, ONE ON ONE HOT CHOCOLATE FOR THE TEENS
If you have younger kids at home, revisit the old tradition of bedtime stories and don’t read from a tablet or phone; get a book. Even better, get your kids to visit your local library with you (remember those?) and choose their favorite books. There is something remarkably soothing about falling asleep to the sound of your mom or dad’s voice that just feels like home.
On the other hand, if you have teenagers that are perhaps past the “bedtime stories” phase, then take the time to have a sneaky cup of cocoa with your teens from time to time. If you make it just a smidge past bedtime, then this little act of rebellion becomes something of a bond that you can look back on in years to come as a little “inside joke.”
DEFINE AND PRACTICE YOUR FAMILY VALUES
What makes your family tick? Do you enjoy hiking together, volunteering? How do you spend your quality time together, and what is your “family goal”? These are good questions to ask yourselves as a family as they’re going to form the basis of the roadmap that leads you all back to each other in new ways, and it’s exhilarating.
There are so many beautiful things that this planet can show us and teach us and discovering them together as a family, cements those bonds for all time. Seeing the Northern Lights together, or hearing lions call in Africa are moments that will inspire deep bonds of shared experience. This may mean flying with your children to far-flung destinations so you might want some help with that, but in the end – totally worth it.