Family bonding during the summer is normal (and important!) for many families. However, more and more families have abnormal schedules, too many responsibilities, or not enough time for true bonding moments. It can be difficult to find activities that don’t require a lot of time or resources that they don’t have. Here are three fun, easy, and free things that all families can do to build a bond with one another.
Let’s Get This Break Rolling
For many families with children, this upcoming summer break must feel like the breath of fresh air that they needed. After years of making accommodations, limiting experiences, and restricting activities due to COVID, children are now able to see all the potential fun they could have during the summer. When you’re a child, the long break means winding down, forgetting about the worries of school, and finding anything and everything to do. Unfortunately, for parents who are still required to work through the break, there is no extended relaxation that they can rely on. With safety measures still necessary to ensure your children are still guarded in their activities and busy schedules creating difficulty for the entire family to come together, it can feel overwhelming for a parent whose main concern is providing for their children. Nonetheless, family bonding is a critical part of your children’s well-being. And summer is a great time to connect.
Summertime = Unprompted Family Time
While some children will begin to fill their days with activities and friends, others will likely be remaining at home where they can feel safe and free to spend their time as they please. The summer break is the perfect time for unprompted quality time between family members to promote family bonding. Of course, every child will want to maximize the time they have away from school but the reality is that the long summer days can only be filled with so much before they have to reel back their adventures and take a breather at home. These moments where parents and children have the house to themselves are perfect for filling with easy, free, and enriching activities that will bring all the family members a little closer together. It can be easy to let these moments of random togetherness slip by as each member of the family has their unique preferences and schedules, but taking advantage of the unprompted time together can be a simple way of bringing your family closer together before the beginning of another busy school year.
Ways to Bring Your Family Together
Below are some ways that your family can connect on a level deeper this summer:
- Movie Talk: Movies are a great way to bring the family together. Not only do you get to spend time watching the movie together but engaging in conversations about the movie, themes and scenes can be one way to understand your family members a little better. Their perspectives can be a great way of getting to know how they see and interact with the world around them. (BONUS: having these conversations helps deepens critical thinking, social thinking, and comprehension skills!)
- Playing Games: Card games, board games, and even video games are all interactive ways that you can engage meaningfully with your family members. Sometimes people are intimidated by the idea of trying something new and potentially failing, but being open and eager to learn something new with a family member can create a more fruitful bond. Even a quick card game as you make dinner can make all the difference in the world.
- Take A Walk: One of the safest and simplest ways to connect with your family members is by going on a light walk. Whether you are exploring new areas or simply walking through your neighbourhood, being aware and taking part in the conversations that flow throughout the walk can be an easy way of learning more about yourself and your family. Getting outside and getting physical also have added physical, emotional, and cognitive benefits. And, many kids tend to open up when out walking with their family.
Fun Has to Be For Everyone
In a multi-child family, it can be difficult to sync up everyone’s schedules to make time for family bonding. But, in those moments where you find yourself under the same roof as your family members, try extending an invitation to do any of these activities. By being vulnerable in your request to spend time with family members and participating genuinely in whatever activity is chosen, you are opening up new opportunities for trust, growth, and love in your family.
If you are struggling to find the right resources for your family activities or your family requires additional support beyond simple activities, please do not hesitate to reach out to Koru Family Counselling where we make your family’s needs a priority.
Want more ideas on how to make this the BEST SUMMER EVER!? Check out our FREE SUMMER GUIDE to avoid the summer slide, maintain healthy habits, build connections, and promote resilience.