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Stressed out by long hours spent on jobs, in school, or performing individual outside activities, it is often difficult for parents and their children to find time to be just families. Family activities are essential to the enrichment of family life, and any opportunities to enjoy the time spent together as a family should be embraced and nurtured.
Family members can easily start the process by making dates with each other for family activities and keeping those dates as faithfully as they would with a business partner, a boyfriend or girlfriend, or a playmate.
Family activities can be as simple as preparing a breakfast or dinner together, with each person taking on a dish, or with the assignments divvied up from prep to cleanup, with the teenagers and parents doing kitchen duty and the little ones setting the table.
For those nights when everyone has to go in different directions for dinner, perhaps a date for dessert or popcorn and a movie can be arranged. The movie can be anything from a child’s favorite animated film to a more provocative drama that would give the parents and their children the opportunity to open a meaningful dialogue. It could even be a cherished family video, showing the kids as babies or their parents getting married.
A special Family Activity Night could involve a rollicking game of Monopoly or Scrabble, a card game, or a game of Charades. Children can be enriched by a parent reading to them – or by themselves reading to their parents. Families who own photo albums might also enjoy leafing through them with their children, who might otherwise never know the stories that those photographs could tell!
Family activities could also take place anywhere in the Great Outdoors. An afternoon spent on a hiking or biking trail could turn into a treasured family adventure – perhaps even more so if it ends with a family picnic at sunset.
Family vacations and day trips are also great ways for families to spend time together away from the pressures of their normal day-to-day lives. Often, they also give parents and children a better chance to talk with each other meaningfully and without interruption.
Family activities might also involve volunteering together, perhaps sponsoring a family in need during the holidays or otherwise helping a person or people in need. Volunteering as a family can be a powerful way to build family bonds and to instill a sense of fulfillment in all family members.
With a little creativity and thought, family members should be able to find numerous ways that they can plan and find time for family activities that will not only enhance the well-being of each person within the family but will enrich the greater world around them in large and small ways.
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