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As your family grows up, there will inevitably be a few tensions and strains put on your little unit. This is completely normal, especially between parents and kids and with sibling rivalry to handle.
But the best families are the ones who make real time for each other. This doesn’t mean sitting in front of the TV together, it means time without distraction. To keep up with each other, you need to make time to get to talk to each other and learn to get on well together.
Whether you choose to play a board game together or try a team sport like softball, playing is a great way to bring your family together and enjoy yourselves. Outdoor games are ideal in the summer to get you all outside into fresh air. And, if you really get the team sport bug, how about custom softball jerseys for the whole family? What else could bring you together as a team like this?
You don’t need to keep a score to have fun but if you are playing to win, then make sure your teams are balanced and try to avoid the temptation of offering an amazing prize. Instead, you could design a trophy that can be won, displayed and played for again another time.
It’s a basic but so many families don’t manage to sit around the table together when they eat. Lots of busy parents tend to feed the kids first and then tend to their own needs later, sometimes when the kids are in bed. This is a problem for a few reasons. Firstly, not eating in front of your children could spawn issues later down the line - if you won’t eat it why should they? Secondly, a meal time together is one of the best ways to learn table manners and take it in turns to ask about each other’s days. Try to eat as a family as often as possible.
If you want to go a step further, try including your children in the cooking process too. Obviously, this isn’t going to work with every meal on every day, but getting them involved in the food before it arrives will give them a healthy attitude and good life skills.
We might think that we talk to each other all the time, but families are a bit more complex than that. Young children rely on their parents to bring up more complex ideas about how they should behave or what the future holds for them. These subjects are less likely to crop up naturally so you need to make time to have a real chat with them while they are safe and relaxed.
Story time is an ideal way to start this sort of conversation because lots of children’s books deal with the types of questions they don’t know to ask yet. For example, a story like Lizzie the Lion is ideal for talking about what it means to be brave and will spark a conversation between you that will help you child understand the concept with a little more complexity.