It’s Family Time! (Part 1)

The worst thing that can happen to a beautiful family is running out of ideas for fun things to do together. However, let me stop you there and say that most often, it’s not just about what you do, but also how you do it and the attitude you have towards it. For so many people, the words “family time” evoke the images of children mandatorily sitting at a dinner table together with tired parents. It’s sad to even think about it, especially because there is no need for it to be that way! Let’s explore what are some of the things you can do together with your significant other and the little ones and how to approach them.

Household chores

Let’s start the list with the thing that was never meant to be on the list of fun things to do in the first place. Well, wrong! In fact, household chores can turn into an extremely bonding experience that will not just bring good emotions, but also a sense of fulfillment, improvement and will nurture good character. To put it simply, this one is all on the parents; if you want to engage your children into doing everyday chores, you cannot expect them to do it voluntarily. Yes, there will be cases when a child will be the first one in line to fold the laundry, but it is pretty unlikely, so you need to find ways to go about it. Instead of ordering the children around or asking them, put more thought into it and think about how you can present these tasks as games.

Horseback riding

One idea among many is to set an award system based on what the children like to do that is not easily available, for instance horseback riding. Create a schedule that would ensure that everyone at home is available and say that if everyone keeps to it for a month, everyone will have a horseback riding trip later that month. Two things here – first, make sure EVERYONE is involved. The child needs to see an example and be a part of a bigger thing. After all, it is family time together. Another important aspect is the mood. As adults, the parents need to toughen up and put on a smile whenever the time for household chores comes. This way, the child will not associate it with some sort of mandatory torture but rather things that need to be done but can also be fun. Put on some music, turn up the lights, put a pie in an oven and fill the house with pleasant aromas – anything that sets a positive mood works. Soon you might start seeing even more impressive results, as some children might actually offer their help to parents even at times that are not on the schedule since they might actually start liking the process! Just make sure you keep your promises – there are few things more difficult than regaining a child’s trust.

Another idea – before and after pictures. Using concepts popular among young children to bring these seemingly boring activities closer to them might help not only them, but also the parents to feel more fulfilled after finishing all the tasks. You might think you understand how big of a work you’ve done today, but pictures of a sink full of dirty dishes versus a clean one will prove to you that you might not even feel the scope appropriately! For more motivation, include a family member the children like, for instance their grandparents, to whom you could send the pictures and get some compliments!