What’s the best gift you can give your kids? Some people may think of the latest video game, a gift card from a local fashion store or an exciting vacation getaway. These things are excellent ideas, but they’re not the biggest gift. In reality, what kids want more than anything is your time. Family bonding provides many benefits for every member of the family, including toddlers, young children, teens and adults.
What Is Family Bonding?
The word bonding is related to “bond,” which means a connection. Bonds are closely related to the idea of glue. In a way, you could say that family bonding is the glue that holds the family together. It means spending time together.
The stronger your family’s emotional connections, the happier everyone in the family is. That’s one of the main goals of family bonding: building a strong, long-term relationship with each child, as well as between parents.
As such, this concept is extremely flexible. What a strong relationship implies varies a lot depending on the personalities of each member of the family.
For some families, it means being able to talk about worries openly and get the support needed. For other families, it means building the habit of having fun together every week. Still other families place a lot of emphasis on affection, with plenty of hugs, laughter and practical jokes to go around. Your family may need all of the above.
What Are the Benefits of Family Bonding Activities?
Put simply, spending time together is good for families. If you think of your family like the human body, you could say that bonding activities are like exercise. The more time you invest in your family, the stronger the relationship that binds you together.
Go on a vacation
Traveling is one of the best activities you can do with your family. It gives you experience and memories that will last you and your family a lifetime. Texas is a great place to go no matter what kind of family you are. There’s plenty of nature to observe and big cities to visit. The marriott odessa in Odessa Texas is a good start to your adventure.
From babyhood to teenage years, kids need to know that they have value. This isn’t spoiling them. Giving them appropriate encouragement is healthy, and family bonding is a great time to do it. For example, when kids make artwork, you have the opportunity to encourage their creativity. Give plenty of praise and affection.
Another great activity for building self-esteem in young ones is building a family tree. This helps young ones see they’re not alone. They’re part of an important and exciting legacy.
Family trees aren’t as difficult to create as you may think. A great place to start is with the 1950 census records. As a family, you can find out who your famous ancestors were, both nearby and far away. It’s amazing to find out where your family name comes from.
Build family bonds even more by looking for connections between past relatives and the qualities your kids have. For example, if your little ones have a talent for dancing, and you find out your great-grandmother lived in Europe as a little girl, why not look up images of famous ballet schools of the time? It’s OK to get creative or let kids fill in the blanks, even if it means just imagining stories that might have happened.
Have you ever noticed how it takes pets a little while to warm up when they first come into your home? After they sense your affection, though, your pets are inseparable members of the family. Kids, and especially teens, can be similar.
Family bonding activities help kids “warm up” to you. The more they feel your support, even in small things, the more likely they are to rely on your help as they get older.
Of course, this support is a two-way street. Parents give their kids a lot of help as they grow up, but kids have a way of returning the favor. Sometimes, it’s thanks to your kids’ smiles or hugs that you find the motivation to get through difficult moments.
A great side effect of spending time together as a family is that it provides tons of opportunities for naturally expressing affection. Tickles, hugs, hand-holding, shoulder rides, swing-pushing and other actions are a great way of telling kids that you love them.
This physical affection is why the bond between mothers and their children is often so strong. Dads can get in on the action as well with excellent family bonding activities.
For example, many adults look back fondly on times when their father read them a book or told them a story before going to bed. Together with a kiss on the forehead, this may be one of your child’s favorite moments of the day. Outdoor activities such as hiking or learning how to ride a bike also provide moments where expressing affection happens naturally.
What your kids learn about relationships through family bonding helps them in other areas of life, such as making and keeping friends. It’s in the family where lessons about forgiveness, saying you’re sorry, working hard, giving gifts and helping can stand out. Kids who learn how to build good relationships with each other and with parents have valuable tools when getting along with classmates, co-workers, employers, and their spouses or families down the road.
Bonding offers many benefits for kids and adults. In other words, the time you spend in family bonding activities is well invested. It’s not something you’ll ever regret.
What Makes Good Family Bonding Activities?
There’s no set plan or program you have to follow when planning time for your family. Kids are different, and the things they enjoy can vary a lot. For some kids, a trip to Disney World is the ultimate vacation. Other kids would have more fun on a week-long road trip to Colorado.
There’s also no specific budget for this type of activity. Some fun things require spending money, such as visiting amusement parks, seeing a movie in the theater or eating out. Plenty of other awesome activities are almost free, from camping in your living room to going fishing.
Lastly, don’t worry too much about the size or scale of your family projects. It’s not necessary to set aside an entire weekend every month to go camping, for example. Spending an afternoon in the park is good, too.
You can switch things up to keep them interesting. Sometimes, you can enjoy long periods together. During other times, you may need to break up bonding into smaller but more frequent periods. The main thing is to make sure you’re giving your kids a significant amount of your time, not how you divide those periods of time.
What Are the Best Ideas for Family Bonding Activities?
The best family bonding activities generally have a few things in common. Look for these qualities when planning.
First, make sure there are moments that encourage communication. It can be funny or serious communication depending on the needs of the moment.
Next, look for togetherness and closeness. Even video games can work if you’re playing with your child. When going on road trips, let one of your kids sit in the front seat for a while, choosing the music or pointing out interesting views.
Also, show commitment. Set aside time instead of just doing things together only when nothing else is in the way. Kids can sense that you’re making time for them, and they appreciate it.
Eating meals together is a relatively simple and easy way to start. During mealtime, turn off smartphones (yours, too). That said, it’s not time for interrogations, either. Jokes or funny stories are just fine to break the ice.