It is a Wednesday afternoon, and my brain is going a mile a minute. While thinking about budgets, laundry, and appointments to be made, I know that I need to schedule some quality family time. It can feel overwhelming in the world of Pinterest and social media to try and create these incredible family moments. I know that I can get discouraged looking at those things! It’s funny because when I think about my childhood, the moments that stand out to me are not the elaborate ones, but the times where things where slow. Here are some ways that my family likes to connect that do not require bells and whistles. If you are struggling with ideas or need reassurance, you are doing a great job; then, I hope this helps you!
One of the most natural things we do as a family each day to connect is to eat dinner together. We turn off all the electronics and eat a meal together. We love hearing our son recap his day in the preschool room, and all the funny things his friends said! We also like to discuss or highs and lows of the day during the time.
Cooking together is an activity that we have come to enjoy. Preschoolers like to help, and it is the perfect opportunity to practice math and language skills in a fun way. It is so exciting to watch their faces light up as they watch their meal take form! Sometimes we let our son pick all of the ingredients for a meal. I love watching him figure out what pairs together and what does not.
Creating a few weekly traditions has been an excellent way for us to connect as a family. One day week, my husband and sone go to the comic book store together. As avid Marvel & Star Wars fans, they love to look around at all the new comics and toys that are in store. They typically don’t buy anything, but its become their special hour or two together during the week to do something they both love. The free lollipop doesn’t hurt either I’m sure! This simple act may not seem like much, but our child is so excited every Wednesday for daddy to pick him from school so they can go!
Switch places with your child. I know, I know. Fifteen minutes of building with blocks can be torture for me. It’s just not something I enjoy. However, we commit to at least 15 minutes of uninterrupted play a day where our child is the one running the show. But try looking at it like this: You are seeing your child through his world. By following them in their likes, we can see the world from our child’s perspective. And once kids are invested, issues that bother them often creep into play. If the Barbie dolls begin being catty, you might understand some more of your child’s classroom dynamic, for instance. Your child will also love being the person in charge for a few minutes each day.
Let loose! Parenting is hard and can exhaust us. However, we have the power to make it fun. Friday night is a pizza movie night at our house. As soon as we get in, we get our pajamas on, roll out the blankets, and snuggle up! We all look forward to each Friday morning when we wake up. We also try to have dance parties and unwind together. When children see us relaxing and enjoying things, we are teaching them that life IS fun and meant to be enjoyed.
What are some of the ways you connect with your family? I would love to hear!