21 Jun 2016 Tips on strengthening families
by Brittany Gilbert
Child development specialists, doctors, teachers, preachers, etc., will tell you that family is the most important influence in a child’s life. It doesn’t take much to see why.
Family is a child’s first relationship, and parents are their first teachers. However, being a strong family takes effort. In a time where screens are so readily accessible and easier than spending quality time with each other, there are still ways to strengthen your family in the midst of a busy lifestyle.
Skip the gym and go for a walk with the family or be creative at the park. It’s no doubt that personal fitness is important, but a lot of parents struggle with finding time to fit it in while wanting to spend more time with family. There are tons of ways to get your workout in and be with family. Do lunges or knee highs while walking and get the family involved. Kids love imitating mom and dad as they work out. I know mine do. You can also let the kids play at the park and use the park equipment to get a workout.
Choose meals that the family can create together. Individual pizzas are always a hit, not to mention super easy. This is also a great opportunity to teach your kids about hygiene when cooking, the importance of good nutrition and cooking techniques. Our 4-year-old loves to crack eggs and mix them before adding them to the pan. He also loves to knead the pizza dough. No matter the age, there is a job for everyone in the kitchen.
Take advantage of the time you have to just talk. Whether it’s the car ride home from school or at the dinner table, you have your kids at a place where they aren’t going anywhere and are more willing to have a conversation. You can create a game where you create questions and interview each other.
Have a family show that you watch together. A lot of friends bond over shows like The Voice, but so can a family. Create a fun competition by picking different contestants to win or team up with a family member to root for the same person. This will instantly give you a family night each week.
Brittany Gilbert is a former FACS teacher at Maumelle High School. She and her husband, Levi, have two sons and live in Conway. Brittany can be reached at [email protected].