Creating Family Traditions
With the growing demands of work, school and extra-curricular activities, it is easy to lose sight of the importance of building and maintaining close relationships with your children. However hectic your schedules may seem, quality family time is still the cornerstone of a strong family. Meal times are an ideal opportunity to catch-up, but there are plenty of other ways to interact with your children and keep connected.
We’ve included several ideas – at the table and beyond – to help add fun and variety to your family time. Try them out… you may be starting a new family tradition!
Dinner Time? Game Time!
Dinners are an important time for families to sit down and unwind for the day. Mix up your mid-week meal routine by playing a game at dinner. Have each family member select a trivia game, or better yet, create a game of your own that includes brainteasers and conversation starters to add some lively interaction to family dinners.
Why not spend some time together helping those in need during the holidays? Working hand-in-hand as a family is a powerful way to help foster the giving spirit of the holidays. Find a community service project that the whole family can enjoy, like volunteering at a soup kitchen or participating in a holiday giving tree. Try volunteermatch.org or SERVEnet.org to find nearby volunteer opportunities.
Bring on the Competition!
Once the big feast is over, it’s time for a culinary competition! Start a new tradition the day AFTER Thanksgiving by dividing family members into teams. By using only leftovers and two to four “mystery” ingredients, teams are tasked with coming up with the best tasting dish. Don’t forget to appoint a family member as the judge!
Introduce exciting new tastes into family meals by coming up with themed dinner nights. Have each family member brainstorm and plan dinners from a different country, then research fun facts about the country to share over dinner. This gives everyone a voice in what meals they’d like to have prepared while bringing a fun and educational twist to dinner.
The Family Blog
Have family members interview each other and create blog entries to keep everyone up to date on current events or recent milestones. Gather for group updates that can be shared with relatives and friends, whether they live near or far. Don’t forget to include picture updates as well… after all, a picture is worth a thousand words!
Time capsules are a great way for your family to reflect on the past year. Jot down any significant milestones and/or achievements for the year and collect a few items that will remind you of the significant events that occurred. Bury the time capsule in the backyard, and agree on a date when to dig it up.
Family Reading Club
Reading is a great way to spend family time together, especially during the cold winter months. Select a book that every member of your family can enjoy and assign chapters over a period of time. Schedule weekly book club meetings for family members to sit down and discuss the book while enjoying each other’s company.