Family Bonding Time

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Family Bonding Time |How can you create that special family bonding time when everyone has different schedules?| #homeschoolpodcast #podcast #homeschool #relationships #parentchild #buildingfamilybonds #bondingwithchildren #FamilyBondingTimeFamily Bonding Time ~ Episode 489

How can you create that special family bonding time when everyone has different schedules? In this podcast, Felice shares some ways that are more than playing games together.

Check out MediaAngels.com and the wonderful books and products on the website. Check out the Character Planners that are geared for the entire family. They are written specifically to involve the family in demonstrating the character trait throughout the month and are more than just worksheets. They contain many group activities.

A few weeks ago, I attended a wedding for the son of some dear friends with a large family. During this time, I was able to catch up with the children who are now grown up! One of the sons, who now has two children of his own, shared how he remembers catching his first fish in our pond and all the good times our families had when we camped together. He said he had such a happy childhood that he was now creating memories with his family.

As parents, we crave close ties with our spouses and our children. If you had a good childhood growing up, you want to recreate that experience, or if you feel your childhood was lacking in some way, you want to remedy this with your own children. However, as parents, we often fail to work at our relationships, and for most of us, it is enough to crawl into bed with the thought, “Glad I made it through today!” When my children were little and mobile, I told my husband they were all safe for one more day. It was a daily struggle to corral little ones and homeschool the older children. If any of these experiences mirror yours, you understand that a family that gets along and is close is sometimes an oddity.

Most of us spend our time correcting and working with the children in one area or another that closeness and relationships take a back seat, especially when you have so much filling your day. I realized at different times in our lives that we needed to work together as a family. This was especially important as my children were getting older, and our lives would soon take different trajectories.

Family Bonding took place over read-aloud books in the evening, with camping, with short day trips during a time in our lives when longer trips were not possible. Family bonding happened over the campfire in our backyard or my husband building a tree house and the kids making me lunch so we could do “school” in the treehouse loft. Bonding occurred when my husband made the kids breakfast and let me sleep in. I woke up to a stillness and quiet that had me bolting out of bed, only to find the four of them by the edge of our pond, out front, eating a breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast.

Sometimes our family forged bonds when we least expected it, and even with the age gap between the older two and the younger three, there is something there that is more than siblings but true friendship. How do you recreate this experience in your own homes? I will share with you some of the activities that worked well for us.

When you enjoy family time together, you are creating a legacy. A tradition that may be passed down from generation to generation. This is something to consider when gathering ideas for future use. In our family, we were unable to take a long vacation. We took one ten-day vacation that was coupled with a wedding and two other shorter trips of about five days each, one in a rented RV. Yet even though our vacations were limited due to my husband’s work constraints, we still forged memories. We took day trips on Saturday to visit nearby museums, parks, notable historic structures such as an old library and a historic train, and activities such as the Strawberry Festival in a nearby town every February. We had picnics at the park and viewed the night sky in our own backyard.

We also had our family tradition of Friday evening pizza and movie night. This changed when the children grew older and became involved in sports. So, we selected another evening that was free as our pizza night. We had a game night on a rare occasion, as my son said, “We think we are a game family, but we are really not!” Too many tough competitors in this family. We enjoyed games, but most were educational during school hours.

As my children became older and their schedules varied, we still worked on family time when we were together. This included various activities, some made up at the spur of the moment (that I want to collect in a book someday soon), and others were long and thought out. I wanted the children to pray for each other, and my focus on the gifts Scripture talks about – the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. I focused on: Kindness, generosity, joy, charity, self-control, faithfulness, peace, and patience. (There are 12 in all, but my focus was on these.)

I handed everyone door hangers with a beautiful mountain or ocean picture and a Bible verse on the front one year. On the back, they were to place stickers with each of the “Fruits of the Spirit,” the ones that were our focus. Once this was completed, I asked them to write their names on the hanger. I then collected the door hangers and had each person select one from with the names hidden. Once they identified the item’s owner, I asked them to pray for a few minutes and ask the Lord which ones they would select to pray for each day. Then put a star next to that attribute and hand the hanger back to the person. I selected one of my sons and picked Faithfulness and Patience for him — some picked two. We wrote down the attributes and put them in our Bible as a reminder to pray. Even if we were miles apart, we could be assured of each other’s prayers.

This year I gave Christmas cards to each person and had them select a random name. If they selected their own name, they placed it back in the box. I then talked about being an encouragement to each other; my husband says that our home is a place to feel safe and loved and that they can come to each of us for help whenever needed or just to talk. I then asked everyone to write a card to this person that they could keep all year long as a reminder that they are loved and encouraged. We didn’t do this immediately as I wanted time to think and pray. This is a reminder, as I have my card in the Bible, that I am loved and cared for.

You can adapt these activities to younger children by selecting a name for each person to pray for, and then in your evening prayer, you can spend time praying for each other. Explain to the children the seriousness and importance of this activity. Whether you are praying for a character quality, such as “diligence,” or quality, such as “faithfulness,” the importance of knowing your family is there for you is really the crux of what it means to bond as a family.

I pray these activities to spur ideas of your own and understanding that each person feels valued, cherished, and loved will repair many of the hurts within families and those from outside.

 

 

 

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