Can you remember the last time you and your family sat down and had a real discussion, watched a movie together or ate dinner as a group during the week? If the answer is no, we’re not judging — we’re merely suggesting that 2019 might be a great time to implement some newfound customs to foster togetherness!
Let’s face it: This world makes it harder and harder to spend face time with those we love. But with a sincere effort, your family will reap the benefits of being in each other’s presence and forming new bonds.
Here are a few new and fun rules to try out in 2019.
If the kids are old enough, let them plan dinner completely on their own and serve it to you. If they’re still young, ask them to participate in everything from seasoning the food to setting the table — even selecting the music and the table centerpiece.
“We will spend the day doing something fun as a family”
Regular dinners are great, but a fun outing once a month is a must-do as well. It’s the perfect opportunity to get to know each other outside of the house and learn more about each other’s talents.
Good options for fun outings could be boating or paddle boarding, miniature golf, intramural sports, participating in charity events, hiking, taking a workshop or running a 5K.
“No phones or tablets are allowed during our family time”
You knew we were going to say it, but it’s imperative to keep phones, tablets and electronic devices out of family time. Otherwise, the kids will be entirely too distracted.
If you want to make it more fun and incentivize younger children, give a small prize for whoever can discard their devices for a certain period of time — and include yourself and your spouse in the contest!
“We will learn family history from our elders”
There’s nothing like hearing a grandparent or other relative tell stories about the past. Make spending time with older family members or friends a part of your family routine for the new year, and teach your children the value of passing down family history.
Recipes, meaningful knickknacks and real photographs that are not on social media are all great conversation pieces for learning more about family.
“We will all work together on our household”
It’s never too soon to teach kids that creating a comfortable home for everyone should be a group effort. Sure, your kids might do some simple chores already, such as cleaning their bedrooms and taking out the trash, but there’s more to homeownership than that, right?
Let them help with stocking the groceries, choosing new furniture or paint colors, keeping the yard in good shape, paying household bills (under your supervision) and deciding on family vacations.
“We will take an annual family trip”
This rule is especially important if your kids are older and have their own ideas of what an exciting vacation is. No need to plan an exotic getaway, but a weekend road trip to a new place is a wonderful way to create new family memories.
If the kids are old enough, you can even let them plan the itinerary, including places to stop and eat along the way, affordable lodging and activities.